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J Cell Biol. 1972 Apr;53(1):38-52.

Fine structural observations relating to the production of color by the iridophores of a lizard. Anolis carolinensis.


This paper presents the results of light and electron microscopy done on iridophores in the dorsal skin of the lizard Anolis carolinensis. New fine-structural details are revealed, and their importance is discussed. Of some interest is the complex of filaments between crystalline sheets in the cell. It is proposed that this complex is involved in the arrangement of crystals into crystalline sheets, and that the crystal arrangement and spacing are critical for the production of the cells' blue-green color. Tyndall scattering and thin-film interference are discussed as possible explanations for iridophore color production in relation to the fine-structural data obtained.

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