Scientists revealed 200 million years old wing color!

Scientists revealed 200 million years old wing color!

The Chinese scientists led by an international team have revealed the wing colour of an insect which is 200 million year via fossil scales. They found that tiny photonic structures of lepidopterans could produce metallic bronze to golden colour appearances in the insect wings. In the plants and animals, Structural colours result from the wavelength selective scattering of incident light which is typically more vibrant and visually arresting than those produced via pigmentation and are often multifunctional. Researchers scaled architectures from Jurassic Lepidoptera from Britain, Germany, Kazakhstan and China, and Tarachoptera from mid-Cretaceous Burmese amber. To describe the theoretical optical properties of the type-1 bilayer scale arrangement, they demonstrated the use of optical modeling thus providing the earliest evidence of structural colours in the insect fossil record.The Jurassic lepidopterans exhibit a type-1 bilayer scale vestiture: an upper layer of large fused cover scales and a lower layer of small fused ground scales. The preserved herringbone ornamentation on the cover scale surface and the scale arrangement is almost identical to those of some extant Micropterigidae. Also, the fossil scale ultrastructures possess periodicities measuring from 140 to 2,000 nanometers and are therefore capable of scattering visible light. This was the earliest known structural colour of insects, pushing the record backward at least for 130 million years. It has demonstrated that nanometer-level optical structures can be preserved in Mesozoic amber, opening a window for restoring the structural colours of ancient animals and plants.

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