Now you see me: scallops have more than a hundred telescope-like eyes: SCIENCE: Tech Times –

Now you see me: scallops have more than a hundred telescope-like eyes: SCIENCE: Tech Times


NASA's Hubble Space Telescope captures the echo of supernova light

The scallop has more than a hundred eyes, which look like bright blue orbs. With tiny guanine crystals in each one, they work like tiny reflecting telescopes.
( Dan-Eric Nilsson | Lund University )

The scallops have more than a hundred bright blue eyes specially adapted to their environment. In each of his eyes there is an image-forming mirror that works like a reflecting telescope.

Scallop eyes and guanine crystals

Many animals have lenses in their eyes to focus light on the retina in order to see some marine animals have a mirror behind the retina. An example of this is the scallop, and they have more than a hundred eyes to prove it.

Thanks to scientist Michael Land, scientists have known since the 1960s that scallop eyes have mirrors instead of lenses in the back of their eyes. However, he never discovered what these mirrors were made of. He supposed they could be made of guanine crystals like those of bright crustaceans. Unfortunately, the technology at that time dehydrated the samples before I could even examine them.

According to new research published in the journal Science Land was right in thinking that the mirror is made of tiny guanine crystals that function as a multi-layered reflector for scallop eyes very similar to a reflecting telescope.

More than one hundred eyepieces similar to the telescope

Using a scanning electron microscope, the researchers were able to examine the structure of the mirror and discovered that they are made of tiny square plates of guanine crystals formed together with almost no space between them. The multilayer concave mirror allows the scallop retina to receive different images, with one layer focused on the peripheral view and the other on the central visual field.

This makes a creature have significantly better vision than other bivalve species, not to mention, they have more than a hundred of these telescopic type eyes.

"The construction of the entire mirror is well adapted to the environment where the scallops live," said Gavin Taylor of the University of Lund, one of the authors of the study.

Underwater cameras inspired by scallop

According to the researchers, the results of their findings could probably inspire technological developments in the future. Specifically, they discover that it is possible to develop submarine cameras inspired by scallop eyes for use in robotics and even in biomedical environments.

Scallops have more than 100 eyes! Gavin Taylor @LundVision @lunduniversity and his colleagues have examined them. The results can help develop miniature cameras for use in water.

– Biology, LU (@Biology_LU) December 1, 2017

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