Why Does Swell Shark Glow Green in the Deep Ocean?

Why Does Swell Shark Glow Green in the Deep Ocean?

The swell shark lives about 1,000 to 2,000 feet down in the ocean. This is their home where they expand to approximately double its regular size by swallowing water.

The swell shark is belonged in the family Scyliorhinidae. It is found in the subtropical eastern Pacific Ocean between central California and to southern Mexico, with an additional population off the coast of Chile.

Why Does Swell Shark Glow Green in the Deep Ocean?

So, researchers recently have discovered that these sharks see the world totally differently than we do. They’re mostly colorblind, with eyes that can notice only the blue-green spectrum. Interesting discovery, isn’t it? It means that when the sharks appear to change color in the blue water, they’re almost projecting a secret code to other sharks: One pattern male, the other female — come and get it.

The study, published on Thursday in iScience, discovered the secret of the transformation.

  • Molecules inside their scales transform how shark skin interacts with light, bringing in blue photons, and sending out green. This improved understanding of these sharks’ luminous illusions may lead to improvements in scientific imaging.
  • This phenomenon is widespread, and these sharks are among at least 200 marine species known to color their dim oceanic world through biofluorescence.

“I think this is just yet another amazing feature of shark skin that we didn’t already know about — just adding to their list of superpowers,” said David Gruber, a marine biologist at City University of New York and an author on the paper.

These aren’t the charismatic predators “that make it onto shark week,” he adds. “But if we look at them deeply, we’ll see that there are hidden secrets and beauty.”

“It’s all like a big mystery novel,” said Dr. Gruber. “I’m sure there are many more species of fluorescent sharks out there in the ocean that we have yet to encounter.”

Source: Text; www.newscientist.com

Image credit; www.newscientist.com, Wikipedia