Wonderful Creatures

HOW DO MACAWS KNOW CHEMISTRY?


You have read in this book that macaws feed on rocks that contain clay, as seen in the picture. If you had seen this picture before reading this book, the behaviour of this parrot species would have surprised you. Maybe you would not even have understood what they were doing. But now you know why macaws eat clay. Most importantly, you know that Allah teaches them to do so. Tell others about what you have learnt to enhance their faith in Allah as well.

Some plants have poisonous seeds. This is an effective method of protection against their enemies who try to eat them. Yet a parrot species living in America can feed on these poisonous seeds. This is quite surprising because while other creatures cannot approach the seeds, these birds that continually eat them are not affected at all. You are curious about how this happens, aren't you?

How this parrot species called the macaw is not poisoned has attracted the attention of scientists too. Scientists observed macaws and witnessed a quite extraordinary pattern of behaviour.

Having eaten these nutritious but poisonous seeds, macaws fly towards a rocky place. There they gnaw upon and swallow some clay containing rocks. This is not a random behaviour. Indeed, rocks that contain clay absorb the poison of the seeds. This is how the macaw can digest the seeds without suffering.

How has this bird acquired the medical knowledge to diagnose the poisonous effect of the seed? How does it know how to get rid of this poisonous effect? Could it possibly have had an education in pharmacy to know that a substance that neutralises the effects of the poison is available in rocks that contain clay? Of course not.

A human being could not understand whether a seed is poisonous or not by its appearance. He could not estimate how to neutralise the effects of the poison. In order to be able to do that, he would have needed education or to have consulted those with knowledge. This being the case, it cannot be claimed that a bird with no intellectual faculties might have discovered such a thing after long chemical analyses and study. It is not possible for macaws to acquire this knowledge, which can be learnt by human beings only after years of special education, by chance. All-Knowing Allah, Who creates everything perfectly, teaches macaws this knowledge.

Have they not reflected within themselves? Allah
did not create the heavens and the earth and
everything between them except with truth and
for a fixed term. Yet many people reject the
meeting with their Lord.
(Surat ar-Rum: 8)

Wonderful Creatures




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