24 Dec
Scientists Explore the Complexity of Scallops’ Eyes Scientists Explore the Complexity of Scallops’ Eyes

Scientists Explore the Complexity of Scallops’ Eyes

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Although scallops are unique sea creatures, they’re often overlooked in casual conversations about mollusks. But researchers were recently able to get an in-depth look at scallops’ unique visual system, thanks to a special telescope that allows them to freeze their subject and take a deeper look.

The study found that scallops have up to 200 eyes that work similarly to a telescope. Their visual system also includes tiny mirrors and crystals that can reflect light wavelengths in their surroundings, giving them the unique ability to see the surrounding area.

Although the scallops’ visual system was explored in the early 1960s by a University of Sussex researcher, his findings couldn’t be verified until recently, when telescopic technology allowed scientists to take a deeper look. The earlier researcher identified the mirror, its crystals, and that the crystals were made up of guanine, which is found in DNA.

Experts say the creature’s vision is notably better than that seen in other bivalves with similar eye construction. The design of the scallop’s visual system could inspire new telescope designs, as well as a type of camera that could be used underwater. Experts also mention a growing interest in developing cameras for specialized use in applications like robotics and healthcare.

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Read 4593 times Last modified on Sunday, 10 December 2017 08:20
Stephanie Faris

Stephanie is a freelance writer and novelist whose work has appeared on,, the Intuit Small Business Blog, and many others. She is the Simon & Schuster author of 8 children's books, including the Piper Morgan chapter book series, 25 Roses, and 30 Days of No Gossip.

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