There’s a lot we still don’t know about deep sea marine life.

Researchers and scientists from the American Museum of Natural History have discovered that the bioluminescent catshark is capable of seeing other bioluminescent animals with it’s specialized vision. Additionally, the catshark is also able to adjust the contrast and luminosity of  the bright green biofluorescence they produce based on the depth of water they are in. In order to further study this phenomenon scientists created a custom “shark-eye” camera that simulates how the catshark sees underwater. Their finding are published in the journal Scientific Reports which you can read here.

“We’ve already shown that catsharks are brightly fluorescent, and this work takes that research a step further, making the case that biofluorescence makes them easier to see by members of the same species,” said John Sparks, a curator in the American Museum of Natural History’s Department of Ichthyology and a co-author on the paper. “This is one of the first papers on biofluorescence to show a connection between visual capability and fluorescence emission, and a big step toward a functional explanation for fluorescence in fishes.”

“Some sharks’ eyes are 100 times better than ours in low-light conditions,” Gruber said. “They swim many meters below the surface, in areas that are incredibly difficult for a human to see anything. But that’s where they’ve been living for 400 million years, so their eyes have adapted well to that dim, pure-blue environment. Our work enhances the light to bring it to a human perspective.”

The video below give a excellent demonstration of their work.

Image from National Geographic on YouTube

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