Saturday, August 20, 2011

Lantern Shark Glows to Become Invisible

While the description may at first sound counter-intuitive, like many deep dwelling sea creatures the Splendid Lantern shark, a rare type of dogfish shark found mostly in the East China Sea and off the coasts of Taiwan and Japan, has evolved bioluminescence as a means of defense from predators.Like the bobtail squid, this small variety of shark, which only grows to around 30 Cm (11.8 inches), uses this ability to replicate the light shining down from the oceans surface on the underside of it’s body, effectively rendering it’s silhouette invisible to predators below.But unlike the bobtail squid, which produces it’s light through a symbiotic relationship with a particular species of bacteria. The splendid lantern shark seems to control it’s photosphores, the organ responsible for producing the light, using nerves and hormones, as well as pigments moving within the organ’s cells.


Source: Discovery News

Image Credit:Jérôme Mallefet

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