Multi-disicplinary experts: Koala bears

The Australian koalas, among the best known marsupials, spend a great deal of their lives in the branches of eucalyptus trees.

The koala's physical design possesses all the features to let it live comfortably in the trees. For example, its arms and claws allow it to climb broad eucalyptus trees with ease, and on its hands, the first two fingers are separated from the other three. If we compare them to our own hands, we can say that in effect koalas have two thumbs. The large toes on their hind legs are also separate from the others, but like them, possess sharp claws. These large toes, different from the others, allow the marsupial to climb along smaller branches.

Like hooks, the koala's claws sink into the soft, smooth eucalyptus trunk, allowing the animal to climb. Its four feet cling onto the branches, in the same way that we would hold a broom handle, and again allow it to climb upwards.

Another feature that allows koalas to live comfortably in eucalyptus trees is the special design of their stomachs. Eucalyptus leaves are poisonous, though the koala bear's special stomach lets it feed on them. The tree also provides the koala's needs for water. In doing all this, the koala makes use of medical science on the one hand and the biochemical factory in its body on the other.

There are more than 600 species of eucalyptus in Australia, but koalas make use of only 35 of these. For the koala bear, the eucalyptus is not just a shelter, but an important food source. It's no exaggeration to say that the eucalyptus is actually its sole food, which also serve the koala as medicine.

Eucalyptus leaves possess a number of medicinal properties. They contain enteric oil, a chemical that is deadly to a great many animals. Yet the koala's liver is capable of neutralizing this oil, which is also the source of the koala's characteristic smell.

Some of the oil, which spreads over the whole body mixes with the air, and some enters into the body, causing parasitic insects to drop out of the animal's fur.

The harmony between the koala and the eucalyptus does not end there, since thanks to the eucalyptus leaves, the koala also regulates its body temperature.

The chemical substances in eucalyptus leaves vary from tree to tree. Indeed, two different types of leaf can be found on just one tree. Yet just as if it had received medical training, the koala selects those leaves it needs from among the hundreds on the branches. If its body temperature is low, and the animal feels cold, then it chews leaves containing the oil phellandrene. Similarly, if the koala is running a temperature, it chews leaves which contain a high level of cineol and thus cools its body down. Other oils in eucalyptus leaves reduce the koala's blood pressure and allow its muscles to recuperate. ("Hasta hayvanlar nasıl sifa bulur?" How do sick animals find remedies?), Sinan Erten, Bilim ve Teknik, TUBITAK, January 1996, p.99.

All these forms of behavior require expert knowledge. How does the koala know which species of eucalyptus contain the substances it needs?

No human being can know what substances a leaf contains simply by looking at it. But the koala does not only recognize different eucalyptus leaves, but also knows how to use them.

Even assuming that we can somehow know what substances the leaves contain, we cannot know what they can be used for without undergoing training or reading a treatise on the subject. Trial and error will be a rather dangerous procedure, since the leaves contain poisonous substances.

This means that the koala must not only identify the contents of the leaves, but also has to design a mechanism to neutralize their harmful effects. It must then somehow produce that mechanism in its own body, or it will die. That totally eliminates the irrational possibility that it does this by means of trial and error.

For any koala bear to survive, it must have come into being with its existing bodily structure; otherwise it will die. These conclusions are clear proofs that koalas came into existence with all these features already functional. There is clearly no room for evolutionary scenarios that have nothing to do with the scientific facts or with reason and logic.

God has created the koala with features that let it use eucalyptus leaves in various ways. God possesses all forms of knowledge. Our Lord has ordained where the animal would be brought into being, along with its abilities, its appearance, and a great many other details.

God's creative artistry is flawless and matchless. In the Qur'an it is revealed:

That is the Knower of the unseen and the visible, the Almighty, the Most Merciful. He Who has created all things in the best possible way. He commenced the creation of man from clay. (Surat as-Sajda: 6-7)

2016-09-04 20:19:52

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