Tuesday, 19 December 2017

Scallops’ Eye Works Like A Telescope, Inspires Better Optical Devices

Image courtesy of Rachael Norris and Marina Freudzon, Public Domain.

Joel Kontinen

Scallops are anything but simple creatures. They have “200 eyes that function remarkably like a telescope, using living mirrors to focus light,” an article posted on Phys.org says, reporting on a recent paper published in the journal Science.

Researchers at Israel's Weizmann Institute of Science and Lund University in Sweden found out these animals have “a mosaic of tiny mirrors and crystals, carefully arranged inside scallops' small poppy seed-like eyes which line their outer edge, known as the mantle.

Each mirror is layered, reflecting wavelengths of light in their habitat and giving them a spatial view of their surroundings

And there’s more.

Each mirror is also ‘tiled with a mosaic of square-shaped crystals, minimizing surface defects for a clearer picture,’ the Science report said.

‘The mirror forms images on a double-layered retina, to separately image both peripheral and central fields of view.
’ "

The research also has a biomimicry dimension: Engineers might use this complex system to design better optical devices.

The animal kingdom is full of intelligently designed features or solutions that cannot be explained away by Darwinian mechanisms.


Phys.org. 2017. Scallops have 200 eyes, which function like a telescope: study (30 November)-