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Dragon fly eye, lens very precise?

  1. Dec 7, 2011 #1
    Is the exact shape of the lens of a dragon fly ommatidium genetically encoded?

    I guess that the radius of curvature for both the front and back surfaces of the lens is somehow genetically encoded, call them r_f and f_b? I guess nature has come up with an optimal design for the dragonfly lens, in principle could genetic variations give rise to an infinite combination of values for r_f and f_b?

    How nature forms those seemingly perfect lenses seems quite some trick, see,


    Thanks for any help!
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 7, 2011 #2
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2011
  4. Dec 8, 2011 #3

    Andy Resnick

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    AFAIK, each omnatidium can be considered a point detector, not an image-forming system- what matters more is the efficiency of light collection, and isolated non-functional cells do not materially degrade the overall image-forming ability of the compound eye. The spatial arrangement of omnatidiums (?) can be explained by basic physics- hexagonal packing is the most efficient (AFAIK).
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