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Across the animal kingdom, males of many species have evolved stunning courtship displays to capture the attention of a potential mate – but, one tiny spider is especially elaborate.
A species of peacock spider has been found to use an entire rainbow of colours to entice females, in the first known instance of such an ornate display.
Patterns - Body - Rainbow - Peacock - Spider
By studying the remarkable patterns packed into the millimeters-small body of the rainbow peacock spider, scientists say it could be possible to harness similar ‘super iridescent’ qualities for new colour technology.
The team used several analysis techniques, including light and electron microscopy, hyperspectral imaging, imaging scatterometry, and optical modelling.
Prototypes - Printing
Then, they created different prototypes using nano 3D printing.
The investigation revealed the spiders’ rainbow iridescence comes from special scales on their abdomen, which combine 3D contour with diffraction grating structures.
Interaction - Wavelengths - Finer - Angles - Distances
This interaction causes light to separate, and isolate into wavelengths at finer angles and smaller distances.
‘Who knew that such a small critter would create such an intense iridescence using extremely sophisticated mechanisms that will inspire optical engineers,’ said Dr. Dimitri Deheyn, the postdoc mentor at Scripps Oceanography and a co-author of the...
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