Harun Yahya

The Squirrel: The Walnut-Lover



In this section, we are going to learn about some of the very interesting qualities Allah has given squirrels. We are sure what you will read about these loveable little beings will also amaze your friends.

Squirrels live mostly in the forests of Europe and north America. They are about 25 centimetres (10 inches)long. That is the size of two of your hands. Behind them and often suspended over their backs are their tails, wide, upright and furry, and almost the same size as their length. There is surely a purpose why Allah, Who creates everything with a purpose, has given squirrels such a tail: Thanks to this long tail, a squirrel can jump from one tree to another without losing its balance.

The sharp little nails of a squirrel allow it to climb trees without difficulty. It can readily run along branches, hang upside-down and move while in this position. A grey squirrel in particular can jump from the tip of a branch to the branch of another tree four metres (13 feet)away. While jumping, it extends its fore and hind limbs and glides. Meanwhile, its flattened tail both maintains its balance and serves as a rudder to steer it. It can even experience free-fall from a branch nine metres (30 feet) above the ground and land smoothly on the ground on four feet.



Now, let's consider once again what these loveable squirrels can accomplish. You already know that squirrels can perform gymnastic moves in the air quite easily, such as jumping from one tree to another without falling and, furthermore, target very tiny branches from a distance and skilfully hold on to them like a trapeze artist.

But how? Well, squirrels can achieve all these feats by using their hind limbs, their keen eyes, which make good adjustments for distances, their strong paws, and their tails, which enable them to maintain balance. But, have you ever thought who has given squirrels these features and taught them how to use them? Since it is impossible for a squirrel family to take a ruler and measure the heights of trees and lengths of branches, how do they measure distances as they jump from one tree to another? Furthermore, how do they jump and bounce so fast without getting hurt or crippled?

No doubt, it is Allah Who has created these animals together with the features they have and taught them how to use them. Furthermore, squirrels possess all the necessary skills and physical attributes to reach walnuts, chestnuts, hazelnuts and pine nuts, the hard-shelled fruits that grow on top of high trees. As with all other animals in nature, Allah specially created squirrels so that they can readily attain the kind of food they need.

In wintertime it becomes hard for squirrels to find food, so in summer they gather food to eat in the long, cold months ahead. Squirrels are among those living beings that store food for winter.

However, squirrels are very careful while gathering their food. They don't store fruits and meat, the kind of food that decays quickly. If they gathered them, they would become hungry in the wintertime. For this reason, squirrels collect only durable dry fruits like walnuts, hazelnuts and cones.



Teeth That Are Renewed When Broken

Squirrels have strong sharp teeth such as human beings never possess. Located at the front of their mouth are incisor teeth that enable them to gnaw and break hard substances. Located behind them are the molar teeth. When we want to break a walnut, we either use a big stone or a device especially designed for this purpose. These little animals, however, can readily accomplish this with their sharp teeth.

Have you ever wondered how squirrels' teeth stay strong throughout a lifetime and how squirrels whose teeth are broken manage to eat hazelnuts or walnuts? Allah, Who has created everything in perfect harmony, has given their teeth a very important characteristic. You will indeed be very astonished when you hear this! Even if squirrels' teeth break or wear out, new teeth grow immediately. Worn-out teeth are continually replaced by growing ones. Moreover, Allah has not only given this characteristic to squirrels but also to all creatures who have to gnaw their food.



It is Allah Who gives this knowledge to squirrels at birth and enables them to take their nutrition. Here, we witness one of the attributes of Allah: Allah is "ar-Razzaq", that is, "the One Who continually provides sustenance to every living being He has created".

Squirrels store their food for winter by burying it in various places. Thanks to their perfect sense of smell, they can detect the smell of nuts covered by 30 centimetres (12 inches)of snow.

Squirrels carry their food in their sacs and take them to their nests. In their nests, there are more than one store, most of which they have forgotten. Certainly there is also a divine reason for this, because in time the dry fruits forgotten by squirrels under the earth grow into new trees.



Like most other animals, squirrels do have methods of communication with one another. Red squirrels, for example, upon seeing an enemy, shake their tails and begin to make excited noises.

Squirrels, who can run on high tree branches also use their tails for balance. They change their direction by rotating their tails. The tails of squirrels serve the same function as the rudder of a vessel. The whiskers of a squirrel also play a major role in their keeping their balance. When squirrels' whiskers are cut, they cannot maintain their balance. This aside, they also use their whiskers to sense the objects around them at nights.

Children! Do you know that some squirrel species can also fly? All the "flying squirrel" species in Australia, whose heights vary from 45 to 90 centimetres (18 to 35 inches), live on trees. We cannot say that they really fly. They make long jumps from one tree to another. These creatures, who move among trees like gliders, have no wings but "flying membranes". The "sugar glider", a kind of flying squirrel with a flying membrane that extends from the fore to hind limbs, has a narrow body and long tassel-like hairs. In some species, the flying membrane is made up of furry skin. This membrane extends to the wrist of the forelimb. The gliding squirrel jumps from the trunk of a tree and can traverse about 30 metres (100 feet) at a time by means of a glide-like effect produced by its stretched membrane. In some cases, they can even make six successive glides, covering a total distance of 530 metres (1,740 feet).

When they don't move, the bodies of these small animals quickly lose heat and they become vulnerable to freezing. For this reason, sleeping is a great threat to squirrels. However, Allah has created various protective mechanisms for every species, enabling them to survive under unfavourable environmental conditions. During sleep, for instance, squirrels just curl their fluffy tails tightly around their bodies. The tail of the squirrel is just like a coat. On wintry days, their tails save them from freezing.

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