Research

Why sharks glow in the dark

Did you know that some sharks can glowIn the dark? This unusual property has long remained unexplored, and the mechanism of its appearance continued to excite scientists. However, as a result of recent research, biologists have finally been able to find the answer, in what way some species of these dangerous predators got the ability to emit bright green light, and, for what, strictly speaking, they do it.

How sharks recognize each other

Despite the fact that sharks create lightbarely visible to the human eye, it is well perceived by relatives even at large distances. In addition, sharks that live off the coast of Chile are able to emit not only green light, but also red and orange. As it turned out during the study, this ability to change colors depends on the presence of one or another color scheme involved in the fluorescence process.

Such an unusual quality allows sharks not only to navigate perfectly in low light conditions, but also to look for their relatives at great depths.

However, a professor at Yale UniversityJason Crawford, who participated in the study, noted that such properties of sharks help these animals create a kind of language for communication among themselves, since not all ocean inhabitants are able to perceive this very original feature.

Did you know: What does the smallest shark in the world look like?

Moreover, the ability to fluorescence somehowcan even affect the immunity of these predators, making them more resilient compared to animals deprived of such a function. We already wrote about this. If interested, all our articles appear in our Telegram channel

Unique Shark Features

If you try to put an ultraviolet flashlight on the cat shark shown in the photo above, you can see that it, like a chameleon, changes color from gray to green.

Exploring the structure of this amazing creature,living on the shores of Mexico, biologists were able to find on the shark's body areas of a lighter shade that differ in color from the general color. As it turned out, it was the zones with a weak color that contain a special substance responsible for the development of the green glow - they turned out to be special small-molecular metabolites that are used by such marine inhabitants as jellyfish and corals.

In addition, precisely because of the presence of such a substance in the body of feline sharks, the great survival of the offspring of this species is directly related to the ability of fluorescence.
The fact is that the metabolites already mentioned above, among other things, have antibacterial properties.

In other words, in the process of evolution, sharks were able to adopt their ability from organisms completely dissimilar to them, adapting the ability to fluorescence to their needs.