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Amongst living items, the colour blue is oddly unusual. Blue rocks, blue sky, blue drinking water, guaranteed. But blue animals? They are few and considerably among. And the ones that do make blue? They make it in some incredibly odd and unique ways compared to other colors. In this video, we are going to seem at some incredibly cool butterflies to assist us discover how living items make blue, and why this gorgeous hue is so unusual in mother nature.

Unique Thanks:
Smithsonian Institution – Nationwide Museum of Purely natural Heritage
Bob Robbins, Ph.D. – Curator of Lepidoptera
Juan Pablo Hurtado Padilla – Microscope Educator

Richard Prum, Ph.D. – Yale College
Vinothan Manoharan, Ph.D. – Harvard College


Bagnara, J. T., Fernandez, P. J., & Fujii, R. (2007). On the blue coloration of vertebrates. Pigment Mobile & Melanoma Analysis, 20(1), 14-26.

Cuthill, I. C., Allen, W. L., Arbuckle, K., Caspers, B., Chaplin, G., Hauber, M. E., … & Mappes, J. (2017). The biology of colour. Science, 357(6350), eaan0221.

Kinoshita, S., Yoshioka, S., & Miyazaki, J. (2008). Physics of structural colors. Reports on Progress in Physics, 71(7), 076401.

Kinoshita, S. (2008). Structural colors in the realm of mother nature. Entire world Scientific.

Prum, R. O., Quinn, T., & Torres, R. H. (2006). Anatomically assorted butterfly scales all generate structural colours by coherent scattering. Journal of Experimental Biology, 209(4), 748-765.

Vukusic, P., & Sambles, J. R. (2003). Photonic structures in biology. Mother nature, 424(6950), 852-855.

Vukusic, P., Sambles, J. R., Lawrence, C. R., & Wootton, R. J. (1999). Quantified interference and diffraction in solitary Morpho butterfly scales. Proceedings of the Royal Culture of London B: Organic Sciences, 266(1427), 1403-1411.

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It’s Okay To Be Good is hosted by Joe Hanson, Ph.D.
Director: Joe Nicolosi
Writer: Joe Hanson, Ph.D.
Producer/editor/animator: Jordan Husmann
Producer: Stephanie Noone and Amanda Fox

Developed by PBS Digital Studios
Tunes through APM


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