The Blue Morpho Butterfly is a beautiful brown — yes, brown — butterfly. The microscopic scales on this rainforest butterfly manipulate light, reflecting back an intense blue light that makes them appear blue.
Showing 7 posts tagged microscopic
Wired Science has an incredible gallery of the Best Microscope Videos of 2012, via Nikon’s video competition. We have a few favorites: This is a Bay Scallop Argopecten irradians. (Those blue things are tiny eyes.) And here’s a beating heart display of a Danio rerio (zebrafish).
The above video shows a Limnias melicerta (a rotifer) at 200x:
This microanimal lives in a self-built tube attached to waterplants. We see the rotifer using fast moving cilia to create a vortex. This enables it to sweep in food particles like algae. Inside the organism we can also see a jaw-like structures that grind the food.
…we human beings, who have been trying to make things for only the blink of an evolutionary eye, have a lot to learn from the long processes of natural selection, whether it’s how to make a wing more aerodynamic or a city more resilient or an electronic display more vibrant… one of the most often-cited examples is Velcro, which the Swiss engineer Georges de Mestral patented in 1955 after studying how burs stuck to his clothes…
More than a decade ago, an MIT grad named Mark Miles was dabbling in the field of micro-electromechanical and materials processing. As he paged through a science magazine, he was stopped by an article on how butterflies generate color in their wings. The brilliant iridescent blue of the various Morpho species, for example, comes not from pigment, but from “structural color.” Those wings harbor a nanoscale assemblage of shingled plates, whose shape and distance from one another are arranged in a precise pattern that disrupts reflective light wavelengths to produce the brilliant blue. To create that same blue out of pigment would require much more energy—energy better used for flying, feeding and reproducing.
Miles wondered if this capability could be exploited in some way. Where else might you want incredibly vivid color in a thin package?
From Smithsonian Mag.
From the team that brought us The Secret Life of Plankton and The Plankton Chronicles comes this wonderful TEDEd video from their amazing microscopic footage, re-created to explain How Life Begins in the Deep Ocean:
Where do squid, jellyfish and other sea creatures begin life? The story of a sea urchin reveals a stunningly beautiful saga of fertilization, development and growth in the ocean depths.
After watching The Secret Life of Plankton, oh how happy we were(!) to find Para Films‘ The Plankton Chronicles. There are so many beautiful videos shot in microscopic detail that we haven’t watched them all yet.
In this video, the Sea Urchin and its cone-shaped echinopluteus larvae demonstrate the cell-division cycle. Other excellent vids: Protists - Cells in the Sea, Iridescent Ctenophores, Pelagia - Fearsome Jellyfish, and Pteropods - Swimming Mollusks. Stunning film work and really breathtaking science.