Researchers have found a way to know how sharks see each other deep down in the ocean. As per the new research, catsharks produce bright green light that is only visible to the members of their own species. As the species travel deeper, their glowing patterns also continue to get clearer.
Catsharks have a special pigment in their skin that absorbs blue light. It transforms it and then discharges in it green color and the entire process is known as biofluorescence. In order to understand how the procedure called biofluorescence works, researchers have developed a camera named ‘shark-eye’.
It mimics how catsharks see underwater. The researchers then found that fluorescence makes them visible only to sharks that is related to their own species and also helps them to communicate with each other.
Study’s co-author John Sparks, a curator in American Museum of Natural History, said, “We’ve already shown that catsharks are rightly 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”.
It is one of the first papers on biofluorescence to show a link between visual capability and fluorescence emission. In the past as well, many marine researchers have found many species in the oceans like fishes and marine turtles that can glow in a wide range of colors and patterns.
Fishes live in the depths of the ocean, a place where light is majorly blue. They absorb blue light and re-emit in neon green, red or orange. The researchers have created a camera by adding filters in front of its lens to capture the shark’s fluorescent light.
The researchers have also noticed that the contrast of the patterns increased with depth, indicating that sharks not only use the light to see but to communicate with each other as well.