“O thou afflicted, tossed with tempest, and not comforted, behold, I will lay thy stone with fair colours, and lay thy foundations with sapphires.”
Squid and chameleons change colors. So does the golden tortoise beetle. But it does so in a way never before seen.
Squid and chameleons change colors by signaling pigment cells in their skin to shrink or expand. The golden tortoise beetle uses an entirely different method. The beetle is normally a very shiny golden color. But when disturbed, it turns blood red. The secret of its color change lies in the unique structure of its shell. It is made up of transparent chitin. The chitin is arranged in three levels, each with their own layers. In between the layers are microscopic channels, connecting them together. Normally, the beetles’ body fluid fills the layers, smoothing them into perfect mirrors. But when disturbed, the body fluid flows out, making the shell transparent and revealing a bright red fourth layer.
Scientists quickly recognized that this design could lead to some important new technology. “Nature never stops surprising us with elegant solutions to everyday problems,” said a chemist at GE Global Research Center in Niskayuna, New York.
This design is such an “elegant solution” to some engineering problems that “nature” must be given credit as if it were a being. Why not just recognize that the Designer of this “elegant solution” is the Triune God Who created it and uses color to show His glory to His creation?
Thank you, Lord, for using color so generously to beautify Your creation and show forth Your glory. Amen.
Science News, 8/18/07, p. 99, C. Barry, “Mood Bugs.” Photo: Golden tortoise beetle. Courtesy of Ilona Loser. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.