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Eyes detect changing movement patterns: queen scallop


Queen scallop jewel-like eyes / Asbjørn Han.. / LicenseCC-by-nc-nd - Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives

The numerous simple eyes of the queen scallop detect changing patterns of movement using two retinas, one that responds to light and the other to darkness.

"The scallop is the record holder for sheer numbers of eyes. It may have from 50 to 200 simple eyes, strung along the edge of its mantle like a string of glistening beads.

"The eyes of a queen scallop are dotted all around the edge of its mantle. The jewel-like effect is due to a reflecting layer or tapetum behind each eye. Scallop eyes contain two types of retina -- one responds to light, the other to sudden darkness, such as the shadow cast by an approaching predator. The scallop probably cannot interpret shapes, but can detect changing patterns of movement, such as moving light-dark changes." (Foy and Oxford Scientific Films 1982:118)
About the inspiring organism
Med_aequipecten_opercularis2b Aequipecten opercularis
Aequipecten opercularis (Linnaeus, 1758)
Common name: Queen scallop

Learn more at
Some organism data provided by: ITIS: The Integrated Taxonomic Information System
Organism/taxonomy data provided by:
Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life: 2008 Annual Checklist

IUCN Red List Status: Unknown

Bioinspired products and application ideas

Application Ideas: Triggers for motion-sensor lighting; micro-scale motionsensors for use in street lights, security lighting, etc., to reduce light pollution.

Industrial Sector(s) interested in this strategy: Security, buildings, lighting, urban planning

Foy S; Oxford Scientific Films. 1982. The Grand Design: Form and Colour in Animals. Lingfield, Surrey, U.K.: BLA Publishing Limited for J.M.Dent & Sons Ltd, Aldine House, London. 238 p.
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