A new study has successfully mapped the eye structure of a chiton mollusk which has hundreds of rocky eyes embedded in its hard shell. Scientists continue to learn more about the visual system of the chiton, a mollusk whose hard shell contains hundreds of miniscule eyes. The new study builds upon research from 2011 which found that the animal’s eye lenses are made from a form of rock called aragonite and that the eyes do allow for sight, although it is likely poor. Using advanced techniques, the more recent team was able to map the eye structure which includes the outer cornea, lens, and photoreceptive cell chamber, the area responsible for sending visual signals to the nervous system. Though some were doubtful that the eyes, which are under a tenth of a millimeter wide, could even develop visuals because of their tiny size, researchers were, in fact, able to produce them. The resolution would be considered low, but it is enough information for the chiton to try and defend itself against predators. Scientists hope this research can help in the design of advanced materials, such as those for houses, which need to be outwardly sturdy but still have flexibility towards light and temperature.
Views: 1267 GeoBeats News