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About This GigapanToggle
- Taken by
- Macroscopic Solutions
- Explore score
- 0.33 Gigapixels
- Date added
- Dec 27, 2013
- Date taken
The exterior of this colorful weevil from the Phillipines is covered in tiny green and orange dots, which appear to be nothing more than a single pigment of color.
Closer examination with novel imaging devices by Macroscopic Solutions reveals that each dot shimmers as though the rare mineral opal does.
Opal is an amorphous crystal composed of hydrated silica. Opal shimmers when light is diffracted throughout its internal structure if there are no impurities. Colors vary depending on the conditions during formation.
Given that both silica and water are abundant resouces in the Phillipines, it could be that this weevil is concentrating the mineral for its exoskeleton. TIn fact, Opal makes sense as armor because it ranks a 5.5 - 6 on Mohs Hardness scale. Not to mention it’s nice to look at.
This observation suggests that there could be a chemical interaction between the species “Pachyrrhynvhus loheri” and the local geology.