Nature’s Jewels

For many, the word iridescence conjures images of shiny jewellery, glittering seas, or sparkling diamonds. You can find it on the surface of a soap bubble, in an oil spill in a wet car park, or on the back of a CD. It is the reason why, when holding an abalone shell, you might turn it in your hand, marvelling at the colours that skip across its inner surface.

Creatures as diverse as insects, reptiles, birds and fish employ iridescence in a variety of ways, but we still don’t know for sure what benefits this resplendence affords the animals themselves.

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