The discovery in New Zealand: The chocolate shark is the largest underwater glowy animal
The fact that living things can shine underwater is nothing new. Researchers in New Zealand found this trait in three species of shark. One of them, the chocolate shark, is the largest animal discovered so far.
There is also a beam of light in the depths of the sea: marine biologists noticed that three types of sharks can glow underwater. The discovery was made by a group of researchers from Belgium and New Zealand off the east coast of New Zealand. A year later, they have now published their findings.
Therefore, chocolate shark, black colored shark, and southern lantern shark are able to emit a shimmering bluish light from their stomach area. Originally, the team led by Jerome Malefitt from the Catholic University of Leuven in Belgium wanted to conduct a study on sustainable fishing. They noticed the special ability of sharks.
About ten percent of shark species glow underwater
Up to 90 percent of living creatures in the deep sea have mastered bioluminescence, as this phenomenon is scientifically called. Energy is generated through chemical reactions, which are then released to the outside in the form of light. However, it was not previously known that these three species belong to the group of bioluminescent organisms. Chocolate Shark (Dalatias though) Is the largest living organism this property has found to date. It can reach 1.80 meters in length.
It is the first time that bioluminescent sharks have been spotted in New Zealand waters, reports 9News. Mallefet researcher believes that there are several of these types that can use hormones to produce light. To date, ten percent of known shark species are bioluminescent.
Sharks are more likely to use light to forage
The examined sharks live at depths of 200 to 1000 meters, and sunlight cannot reach them. It’s not entirely clear to researchers exactly why they use bioluminescence. In their article, marine biologists put forward two hypotheses: Sharks can use light to search the sea floor for prey or use a glow to make it less visible below the surface of the water.
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