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Never Seen Before Undersea Light Show Amazes Scientists [VIDEO]

“There’s a whole light show going on down there, and people never see it.” A green biofluorescent ...

“There’s a whole light show going on down there, and people never see it.”

A green biofluorescent chain catshark (Scyliorhinus retifer). Scientists already knew that some marine organisms fluoresce, including corals and jellyfish, but the NSF-funded study, The Covert World of Biofluorescence is the first reported evidence of widespread biofluorescence among fishes.

Never Seen Before Undersea Light Show Amazes Scientists

With the help of blue light and special long-pass filters, scientists have uncovered more of the undersea world’s secrets. A study published today describes more than 180 species of marine fishes that glow in different colors and patterns, via a process known as biofluorescence.

Scientists already knew that some marine organisms fluoresce, including corals and jellyfish, but this is the first reported evidence of widespread biofluorescence among fishes.

Never Seen Before Undersea Light Show Amazes Scientists

“There’s a whole light show going on down there, and people never see it,” said one of the study’s principal authors, John Sparks, a curator in the American Museum of Natural History’s (AMNH) Department of Ichthyology.Researchers discovered a rich diversity of fluorescent patterns and colors in marine fishes, as exemplified here.
 A) swell shark (Cephaloscyllium ventriosum);
 B) ray (Urobatis jamaicensis);
C) sole (Soleichthys heterorhinos);
D) flathead (Cociella hutchinsi);
E) lizardfish (Saurida gracilis);
F) frogfish (Antennarius maculatus);
G) stonefish (Synanceia verrucosa);
H) false moray eel (Kaupichthys brachychirus);
I) Chlopsidae (Kaupichthys nuchalis);
J) pipefish (Corythoichthys haematopterus);
K) sand stargazer (Gillellus uranidea);
L) goby (Eviota sp.);
M) Gobiidae (Eviota atriventris);
N) surgeonfish (Acanthurus coeruleus, larval);
O) threadfin bream (Scolopsis bilineata).

WATCH THE VIDEO: 
 

Contacts and sources:
National Science Foundation
Jacqueline Conciatore
Edyta Greer 
John Sparks 
David Gruber 
CUNY Baruch College
American Museum Natural History  
Citation: The Covert World of Fish Biofluorescence on PLOS ONE:http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0083259


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