animals

Showing 345 posts tagged animals

This is a male Sapphirina copepod or Sea Sapphire, transparent and only a few millimeters long, but attention-grabbing when they seem to emit an incredible blue flash. What causes luminous color from nothing? The “microscopic layers of crystal plates inside their cells” catch light and reflect back the violet-blue. Rebecca R. Helm writes:

Like their namesake gem, different species of sea sapphire shine in different hues, from bright gold to deep blue. Africa isn’t the only place they can be found. I’ve since seen them off the coasts of Rhode Island and California. When they’re abundant near the water’s surface the sea shimmers like diamonds falling from the sky.  Japanese fisherman of old had a name for this kind of water, “tama-mizu”, jeweled water…

In the case of blue sea sapphires, these crystal layers are separated by only about four ten thousandths of a millimeter; about the same distance as a wavelength of blue light. When blue light bounces off these crystal layers, it is perfectly preserved and reflected. But for other colors of light, these small differences in distance interfere, causing the colors to cancel out. So while white light is composed of all colors, only blue light is reflected back.

More iridescence: the Blue Morpho Butterfly, Peacock Spiders, and the Birds of Paradise.

via Deep Sea News.

When this flight paths of starlings video by artist and professor Dennis Hlynsky went viral, it sparked a lot of questions for us: How did he make the visualizations? How do the starlings move quickly as a flock? What makes other groups of animals move the way they do?

In Micromigrations from The Atlantic, Hlynsky discusses his own questions as we observe the water striders, ants, starlings, vultures, crows, and little white flying bugs that continue to inspire his curiosity and his work.

Watch starlings videos and explore more about the way animals (and robots) move, including water striders, cheetahs, catssnakes, and hummingbirds.

Thanks, Sam.