Navigation Links
Beetles stand out using 'Avatar' tech
Date:4/19/2010

A new study suggests that jewel scarab beetles find each otherand hide from their enemiesusing the same technology that creates the 3D effects for the blockbuster movie Avatar.

According to researchers from the University of Texas, the jewel scarab species Chrysina gloriosa can distinguish between circularly polarized and unpolarized light. That ability could provide the beetles with a tremendous advantage, the researchers say, because most of the light reflected off these beetles' colorful bodies happens to be circularly polarized.

"The trait would allow the beetles to easily see each other while simultaneously hiding from predators that cannot see circular polarized light," said physicist Parrish Brady, who conducted the research with Molly Cummings. Their research is published in the May issue of the American Naturalist.

Circular polarization (CP for short) is a way of filtering light that causes the light's electric field to travel in a circular pattern, as opposed to oscillating in all directions as is does in unpolarized light. CP filters are now used to create 3D effects in movies, such as James Cameron's Avatar. Human eyes don't have the ability to perceive CP light, which is why we need special glasses to view films that use CP.

Scientists have known that jewel scarabs reflect CP light since the renowned physicist Albert Michelson discovered it in 1911. But to find out if they can also detect CP light (without the snazzy glasses), Parrish and Cummings took advantage of beetles' propensity to fly toward light. Through a series of experiments, they tested to see if jewel scarabs alter their flight patterns in the presence of CP light.

"We found significant differences in the beetles' flights toward circularly polarized and unpolarized light sources, suggesting that their eyes are outfitted to be sensitive to circularly polarized light," Brady said.

The finding makes Chrysina gloriosa only the second species on Earth known to be sensitive to CP lightthe other being a species of shrimp.

Because ability to see CP light is very rare in nature, it's not likely that any of the beetles' predators can see it. So the ability to both see and reflect CP light probably evolved to allow jewel scarabs to communicate with each other while staying hidden from predators, but Brady and Cummings are planning more research to see exactly how these beetles use this very rare way of seeing and being seen.


'/>"/>

Contact: Kevin Stacey
kstacey@press.uchicago.edu
773-834-0386
University of Chicago Press Journals
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Sex is thirst-quenching for female beetles
2. Armed beetles find a mate, whatever their size
3. Entomologists play matchmakers for cerambycid beetles
4. Novel fungus helps beetles to digest hard wood
5. Beetles get by with a little help from their friends
6. Controlling cucumber beetles organically
7. Inconspicuous leaf beetles reveal environments role in formation of new species
8. UC Riverside lecture: Climate change, bark beetles, environmental markets and sustainability
9. A study by the MUHC and McGill University opens a new door to understanding cancer
10. Understanding hypertension in African Americans proves elusive
11. Minimum information standards -- all for 1 and 1 for all
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/28/2017)... , Feb. 28, 2017   Acuant , a ... globally, announces significant enhancements to new and core technologies ... New products include mobile and desktop Acuant FRM TM ... - a real time manual review of identity ... technology provides the fastest and most accurate capture software ...
(Date:2/28/2017)... BARCELONA , Spanien, 27. Februar 2017 /PRNewswire/ ... durch Iris-Scan, wird seine erstklassige biometrische Lösung ... Snapdragon™ 835 mit X16 LTE auf dem ... 2. März) am Qualcomm-Stand in Halle 3, ... 835-Prozessor beinhaltet die Sicherheitsplattform Qualcomm Haven™ – ...
(Date:2/26/2017)... 25, 2017  Securus Technologies, a leading provider ... public safety, investigation, corrections and monitoring, announces the ... "Too often, too many offenders return ... jails are trying to tackle this ongoing problem ... and family members. While significant steps are underway, Securus ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:3/28/2017)... 2017  Viking Therapeutics, Inc. ("Viking") (NASDAQ: VKTX), a ... therapies for metabolic and endocrine disorders, today announced that ... will deliver a corporate presentation at H.C. Wainwright & ... held April 3, 2017 at the St. Regis Hotel ... presentation are as follows: H.C. ...
(Date:3/28/2017)... , March 28, 2017 Biostage, Inc. ... company developing bioengineered organ implants to treat cancers and ... today announced that Jim McGorry, CEO of ... BioEngineering panel at the MassBio 2017 Annual ... PM ET in Cambrige, Massachussetts. The 3D Printing ...
(Date:3/28/2017)... , ... March 28, 2017 , ... ... and diminished effectiveness over time. A recent study published in STEM CELLS suggests ... stimulating subventricular zone (SVZ) stem cells to produce more neural cells. , ...
(Date:3/28/2017)... ... March 28, 2017 , ... ... weigh modules. These weigh modules are designed according to European Hygienic Engineering ... , As fully integrated weighing solutions, SWB805 MultiMount weigh modules reduce contamination ...
Breaking Biology Technology: