Israeli scientists have discovered an animal with eyes-«telescopes»

© Illustration RIA Novosti . Alina Palanimalai scallops was similar in structure to modern telescopesIsraeli scientists have discovered an animal with eyes-«telescopes»© Illustration RIA Novosti . Alina Polyanina

The usual scallops were the owners of some of the most complicated and «advanced» eyes on the Earth – they are like the principles of your device on the Hubble and other optical telescopes, say scientists in an article published in the journal Science.

«The mystery of how the eyes of scallops, scientists were forced to break the head at least two centuries, and only in the 1960s physicists realized that the image is formed due to the fact that the inner surface of the eye is a concave mirror reflecting the light onto the retina, located above it. How does this mirror and what it consists of, remained a mystery to us,» says Benjamin Palmer (Benjamin Palmer) from Institute of science Weizmann in Rehovot (Israel).

The eyes of humans and many other mammals contain two types of photosensitive cells – the rods and cones. Cones allow us to distinguish colors, but they only work when a sufficiently high ambient light, the rods – allow you to see the silhouettes of the objects in the dim light of the stars or the moon.

Experiments show that in recent years, the number of different types of cones and their functions are markedly different in different groups and even genera of animals – for example, man has three kinds of cones, and some species of birds and reptiles – four types, one of which allows them to see ultraviolet light. Other animals, for example, mantis shrimp, possess an even more exotic system view, which contains 12 different photoreceptors, each of which distinguishes a specific color.

Israeli and Swedish physicists have uncovered the principles of their operation, freezing a few of these eyes in liquid nitrogen, cutting them into thin layers, and to educate them with a scanning electron microscope. This allowed the scientists to obtain a three-dimensional computer model of the eye and understand how light interacts with each component.

Much to the surprise of scientists, the principles of that eye most of all they recalled not the visual organs of other animals, and the most modern optical telescopes like Hubble, VLT, or «KEK». The key of these telescopes is not the lens – it is not in principle, and two mirrors with unusual shapes that focus light at one point.

Similar mirrors are in the eyes of scallops of St. James – one of them is located under their «rear» of the retina, and the second is under the second retina is located next to the pupil, the presence of which in the eye of the mollusk, scientists were previously unable to explain.

Thanks to such technological innovations, the scallops, as the researchers note, possess a keen and quick eyes with a very wide field of view, about 250 degrees, without using a lens or other expensive structures, the maintenance work that need a lot of energy.

As suggested by physics, eye-«telescopes» scallops can be used not only when creating a new astronomical instruments, but also in other areas of science and technology, where the need of compact optical devices capable of focusing light at very wide angles.