Star gazing on the seafloor
Scallops have more than 200 eyes in an arrangement similar to a telescope
Israeli and Swedish researchers have detailed the intricate visual structure of scallops in their study published in Science.
This formation is similar to how telescopes use an array of mirrors to focus light.
“The tiled, off-axis mirror of the scallop eye bears a striking resemblance to the segmented mirrors of reflecting telescopes,” the authors highlighted.
The layered structure of the mirror in a scallop’s eye is tuned to reflect the wavelengths of light penetrating its habitat and is tiled with a mosaic of square guanine crystals, which reduces optical aberrations.
The research has the potential to aid the development of bio-inspired optical devices for imaging and sensing applications.
Image credit: Bernard Spragg