Magnificence Everywhere (7/15)
The Parrot Fish's Sleeping Bags
The parrot fish covers its body, particularly at night, with a gelatin-like substance. Let's have a look at how this substance is produced and utilized. Parrot fish produce this substance in order to protect themselves at night against outside effects. This substance protects the fish against nocturnal hunters. In addition, it enables the fish to camouflage itself.
First, this gelatinous mucus is secreted in glands that are located at the upper edge of the gill cavity, while the fish breathes. After a while, this gelatin-like covering envelops the fish's whole body. The most essential function of this transparent sleeping bag is to protect the fish against moray eels, which are among the greatest enemies of parrot fish. Moray eels have an extraordinarily sensitive sense of smell, and they find their prey using this skill. However, owing to this protective sheath, morays cannot pick up the scent of this fish, and do not notice it even if they strike it while passing beside it.17
Considering this remarkable mechanism, one must wonder, how did the parrot fish ever come by this protective sheath they use at night? How could they discover such an important material which interferes with the morays' sharp sense of smell and enables them to spend the night in protected comfort?
It is inconceivable to expect a fish to think up and plan to produce a substance in its body and then cover its body with this substance. In addition, it is not possible either for such a formation to have come into existence on its own over time. If a parrot fish cannot plan to produce such a substance with its own intelligence and form such a system in its body by means of its own will, a parrot fish that lived 10,000 years ago would not have been able to do these things either.
A fish's body's being covered with gelatin in order to camouflage it from its enemy in an appropriate way is a very skillful thing. It is obvious that such a feature can come into being only as a result of an intelligent design. This intelligence belongs not to a fish or any other creature but to Allah, Who has created and fashioned all of this.
That is Allah, your Lord! there is no god but He, the Creator of all things: then worship ye Him: and He hath power to dispose of all affairs. No vision can grasp Him, but His grasp is over all vision: He is above all comprehension, yet is acquainted with all things. (Surah Al-An'am 102-103)
The Scorpion Fish's Camouflage
Have a look at the scorpion fish in the picture. You will notice right away how difficult it is for the eye to visually discriminate them from their surroundings.
Scorpion fish live mainly on the sea floor in temperate or tropical zones and never venture out into the open sea. They are carnivorous and feed on smaller fish. Their long, fan-shaped fins are an excellent deterrent to the fish's enemies, and its red-and-white stripes make it difficult for their prey to see them among the corals. The scorpion fish has a very colorful appearance. But since the corals it lives in are also very colorful, it easily hides among them. It decreases its chances of being a prey. It also allows it to get close to its own prey easily.18
It is very difficult to distinguish most undersea creatures, like scorpion fish, from the environment in which they live. The presence of these creatures becomes clear only when they move. These creatures which camouflage themselves under the sea in a perfect way also use their colors to hunt, reproduce and send messages. How, then, did this harmony originate? Who has made the body of a fish the same color as the rock where it lives and even given it the same protuberant appearance as the rock? And who has given a shrimp the colors of sea plants? It is impossible for any chemical processes occurring by chance or any other factor to give these creatures the color of the environment they live in.
It is also impossible for a fish, shrimp or crab to be aware of the concept of color and to produce systems that make color changes in themselves. Such a thought cannot go beyond mere imagination. Designing such a system, placing this system into creatures, making arrangements in genes to make it possible to transfer it from generation to generation, and coding all the information in the cells of creatures can be done only by the owner of a superior power.
The Owner of this superior power is Allah. Allah created all creatures together with the traits they possess. Allah draws our attention to this fact in the following verse:
Does He not know those whom He created? He is the All-Pervading, the All-Aware. It is He who made the earth submissive to you, so walk its broad trails and eat what it provides. The Resurrection is to Him. (Surat al-Mulk: 14-15)
The Migration of Spiny Lobsters
Have you ever wondered how creatures that migrate every year to regions which lie thousands of kilometers away can manage such a thing? A host of questions immediately come to mind: How can they so precisely compute the distance they have to travel and store just enough food to last the long journey? Why don't they get confused what route to take? How do they know that the weather conditions at their destination will be better? How can they find their way even when they have never been there before? Such questions, and many others, inevitably hit upon an obvious fact.
It is plainly impossible for migratory animals to attain information about places they have never visited by means of their own consciousness and will, to do computations and to move collectively in accordance with these computations. This situation reveals that whatever they do is "inspired," and that these creatures are conducted by a superior being. These migrating animals find their way, understand how to conserve energy and glean all other necessary information due solely to inspiration from Allah.
As an example of migratory animals, we may cite the spiny lobster. Let's see how these creatures achieve the impossible. Spiny lobsters live among the coral reefs of tropical and temperate waters. When autumn comes, they leave the caverns of coral reef and gather in large groups under the sea. They form a column, ranging in number from several to over a hundred, with each animal lining up behind the other, with his antennae touching the tail of the animal ahead. There are important reasons behind lobsters moving together in this manner. First of all, travelling in lines reduces the drag effect of the water, enabling them to consume less energy and move faster. It also gives them protection as they venture across the open plains of sand, where there are no hiding places. When the lobsters are attacked by a predator, they break the line and form circles, pincers outwards, to protect themselves.19
Adults lay their eggs on the coral reefs off the coast. The larvae, are then carried back to the sea by the currents, finally setting on the bottom. The cycle repeats itself as the young ones grow and reach maturity and begin to migrate back towards the spawning grounds.
Should He not know,- He that created? and He is the One that understands the finest mysteries (and) is well-acquainted (with them). It is He Who has made the earth manageable for you, so traverse ye through its tracts and enjoy of the Sustenance which He furnishes: but unto Him is the Resurrection. (Surah Al-Mulk, 14-15)
Interesting Characteristics of Sea Horses
The appearance of sea horses is very striking, and their general structure has a very specific design. Their size varies from about 4 to 30 centimeters(1.6 to 11.8 inches) and they usually live along the shore, among seaweed and other plants. A bony armor protects them from any kind of hazard. This armor is so strong that it is impossible to crush a dried, dead sea horse using only your hands.
The head of the sea horse is set at a right angle to its body. This feature is found in no other fish. Sea horses swim with their bodies straight up and they can bend their heads up and down. But they cannot turn their heads from side to side. This might cause sight problems in other creatures but sea horses have none thanks to their special body design. The sea horse's eyes can move independently, rotating about to watch each side so they can see their surroundings easily even without being able to move their heads from side to side.
The sea horse's swimming is also affected by a very special system. It rises and sinks in the water by changing the volume of the gas in its swim bladder. If this bladder is damaged and loses a little bit of gas, the sea horse sinks to the bottom. Such a mishap causes the sea horse to die. Here, there is a very important point that should not be missed. The amount of gas in the bladder has been adjusted in a very sensitive way. For this reason, the slightest change may cause the death of the creature. What this sensitive balance shows us is very important. A sea horse can survive only as long as this adjustment is maintained. In other words, a sea horse can survive because it has come into being with this system intact. This situation shows us that it would be impossible for sea horses to acquire their characteristics over time, that is, the sea horse is not a product of evolution as the evolutionists claim. Like all other creatures in the universe, Allah created them along with all their characteristics.
Probably the most amazing aspect of the sea horse is that the male, not the female, gives birth to its offspring. The male has a large pouch and a slit-like opening at the bottom of its abdomen, where it lacks armor plating. The female lays her eggs directly into this pouch and the male fertilizes them as they are dropped. The lining inside the pouch becomes sponge-like and filled with blood vessels, which are essential for nourishing the eggs. One or two months later he gives birth to little copies of himself.20
The sea horse, which is only one of the millions of species living beneath the sea, has unique characteristics in many aspects. The design of the sea horse is just one example of Allah's boundless power and eternal knowledge:
…(He is ) the Originator of the heavens and earth. When He decides on something, He just says to it, "Be!" and it is. (Surat al-Baqara: 117)
19- David Attenborough, The Trials of Life, William Collins & Sons, London, 1990, p. 123
20- David Juhasz, "The Amazing Sea Horse," Creation Ex Nihilo, June-August 1994, Volume 16, no. 3, pp. 39-40.
21-Florida’s Fabulous Seashells, World Publications, FL, 1999, p. 15.
22-Dr. Jack Hall, “The Most Important Organism?” http://www.ecology.com/dr-jacks-natural-world/most-important-organism/