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Still Waters

Blue Tarantulas Inspire 3D-Printed Color

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Tarantulas aren't usually known for having a striking blue color, but the ones that do recently inspired new technology that can produce vibrant, 3D-printed color that will never fade.

Back in 2015, a team of researchers led by the University of Akron marveled at the spiders' blue hue and concluded that it was created not from pigment but from nanostructures in their hairs. In other words, these tarantulas are blue because of structural color, which is produced through light scattering caused by structures of sub-micrometer size features made by translucent materials. They also realized that many species of the spider have nearly the very same color, but evolved the color independently.

http://www.seeker.com/blue-tarantulas-inspire-3d-printed-color-that-never-fades-2249897760.html

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Sounds similar to the hairs on a sea mouse.

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This nano scale production of various colors has been known for a long time in butterflies, various shades of blue in Morpho species and brilliant green In Rajah Brookes Birdwing. I believe this occurs in certain bird feathers as well, like the dark blue-violet in Indigo Buntings. 

I have seen the large Common Morpho (if common can describe such a creature) in Costa Rica and in Mexico, the brilliant flashes of blue as they fly are amazing. It's only on the upper wing surface, the undersides are drab and allow them to blend in with the jungle when at rest. 

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