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 ...
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.
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.
“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).
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National Science Foundation
CUNY Baruch College
American Museum Natural History