The MacGuffin

Archive for October, 2009

Shrimp: Dinner…and a Movie?

Posted by Lauren Rugani on October 28, 2009

Courtesy of Science Magazine

The compound eye of the mantis shrimp (Odontodactylus scyllarus) is among the most complex in the animal kingdom. The Australian reef-dwelling creature can see light across the spectrum, from the infrared to the ultraviolet (humans see only visible light, a small portion in the middle) and process twelve colors (humans process three). They can also detect both linearly and circularly polarized light and convert one type into the other – a feat known to humans only through components in things like DVD players and cameras, which perform very crudely by comparison. Researchers at the University of Bristol in the UK have unlocked the secrets of the inner eye, which could one day lead to ultra-high-def optical technology.

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