Ole’ blue eyes: scallops and clams have unique ‘mirrored’ eyes

1258-_MG_2104

It may seem alien, but think about this the next time you enjoy a scallop or a clam: they might be looking back at you. Some species have tens of tiny eyes which line the edges of their characteristic shells. Unlike almost all other adult bivalves, scallops and clams can grow eyes which use a unique ‘mirror’ system to form images of their surroundings. A concave reflective layer, the argentea, sits close beneath the lens of the eye and reflects the image back to it – thus, reversing the image twice (once as it passes through the lens and once on the way back) and correcting it, unlike our own eyes.

Image courtesy of Robert Rath.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s