The pigment cell that gives color to frog skin: Chromatophores

Why are the chromatophores a vital pigment cell for frogs?

How many layers is this pigment cell composed of and what are the duties of these layers?

How do the hormones in the so-called pigment cell affect the pigments?

When a frog is thrown into a brown-colored muddy puddle covered with bright and green colored leaves, there begins a speedy change in its color. Allah creates this transition in the frog’s body through a perfect system, and ensures its camouflage, the most important defense system that is used against predators. The frog, which becomes invisible by resembling the colors of its environment, is thereby saved from its enemies. What ensures the camouflage of frogs with their environments are the pigment cells. Pigments are molecules that make colors reflect. In other words, the color reflected by something is based on the pigment molecules that form it. However, every pigment molecule has a different atomic structure. It is this difference, which causes the green color to be formed on the frog’s skin.

The number, type and arrangement of the atoms of the pigment molecules on the frog skin is specific to this living being only. The light that falls on the pigments of the frog, which are different from the pigments of other creatures, causes the green color tone to be reflected.


How are the Pigments that Form the Color of Frog Skin Arranged?

The pigment cells called chromatophores consist of three layers piled on top of one another.

The layer at the most bottom is formed by melanophores. Melanophores are dark brown or black colored and they contain the melanine pigment which gives color to human skin. There are iridophores on the melanophore cells. Iridophores do not cause coloring but they reflect the light on the surface of purine crystals inside the cell. When the light comes onto these cells, it results in a varicolored and silvery reflection on frogs just like amphibians, fish and invertebrates.

In most green frogs, the sunlight passes through the skin and reaches the small mirrors on iridophores. This blue light moves towards the upper layer that contains yellowish pigments called ksanthofores. The light that spreads towards the upper cells are perceived as green color by human beings. Frogs with no ksanthofores appear bright blue in color.

This is the special arrangement of the molecules that give the frog its green color. However, a question comes to mind here: Did frogs acquire these colors by selecting special pigment molecules by knowing characteristics of the special light spectrum that reached the earth? This is, no doubt, impossible. Then is it possible for such a situation to occur by coincidence? Of course not. It is clear that it is neither possible that frogs accomplished this process on their own, nor it for such a structure to be formed by coincidence. Almighty Allah created every living being with detailed features specific to it. Frogs also possess the pigments suitable to their own characteristics.

The Frog Uses Pigment Cells as a Defense Tactic

The specially-created green color of the frog ensures one of the most important defensive tactics used against predacious animals, called camouflage. The pigment cells composed of several layers can turn the color of the skin from bright green to dark brown. The frog, which becomes invisible by accommodating the colors of its environment, is thereby saved from its enemies. The pigments that allow the frog’s color to resemble its environment change their shapes with the help of hormones in this creature. The hormone travels around the pigment inside the cell and change the density of the light coming in. In this way, when the frog jumps into a brown-colored muddy puddle covered with bright and green colored leaves, the cells on its skin change its color to protect it.

It is impossible that a frog, which mimics the color of the surface it stands on, to accompligh this process with its own freewill or by coincidence. As with all living things, it is of course Allah, with His sublime knowledge and wisdom, Who gives the frog its camouflage ability and Who installs a chemical laboratory in its body that enables it to change color.

It is a Miracle that the Same Color is Formed Every Time

Think that you are trying to form the color of the frog in a lab environment. If you do not have any knowledge on the subject, not matter how advanced your lab is, you may not the result that you are seeking, let alone the quality of color and also how color becomes completely invisible by changing to a different color when required to resemble its environment.  You probably would not even be able to come up with the same color every time.  In this situation, claiming that this perfect system in frogs came into existence by coincidences would of course be an irrational and unscientific claim. The flawless Creation on the earth belongs to Almighty Allah, the Most Merciful. Allah reveals as follows in surat an-Nahl:


And also the things of varying colors He has created for you in the earth. There is certainly a sign in that for people who pay heed. (Surat an-Nahl, 13)

2011-05-21 23:25:28

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