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Scientists have discovered three species of sharks that glow in the dark

Researchers in the ocean depths have discovered three species of shark that glow in the dark. These are other sea creatures with bioluminescent properties. They presented their findings in the journal Frontiers in Marine Science. It turns out that species of leks(Dalatias licha), Etmopterus lucifer and spiny dogfish(Etmopterus granulosus), all possess the ability to bioluminesce.
Published: March 20, 2021 - 09:00
Updated: July 22, 2023 - 22:11
Scientists have discovered three species of sharks that glow in the dark

Researchers in the ocean depths have discovered three species of shark that glow in the dark. These are other sea creatures with bioluminescent properties.

They presented their findings in the journal Frontiers in Marine Science. It turns out that species of leks(Dalatias licha), Etmopterus lucifer and spiny dogfish(Etmopterus granulosus), all possess the ability to bioluminesce. Thus, these are further identified species of deep-sea sharks glowing in the dark.

bioluminescence of deep-sea sharks Thanks to these findings, we also know that the blue-luminescent lycra shark, which belongs to the order Spiny Dogfish, is the largest known bioluminescent vertebrate. Members of this species are very rare. They usually live in the ocean depths and have been recorded at depths inaccessible to divers of 200 to 600 m.

We have about 540 species of sharks in the ocean and 57 of them are able to produce light. That’s more than 10%! – said study leader Jérôme Mallefet, a marine biologist from the Catholic University of Louvain in Belgium

The scientists also stressed that we still know little about sea creatures capable of bioluminescence. In the common consciousness of people these animals practically do not exist. This is partly a result of the fact that we still know very little about what happens under the surface of the oceans.

deep-sea sharks and bioluminescence The scientists now intend to continue their research on bioluminescent sharks. They also plan to investigate other marine species that emit light. Unfortunately, they have now had to halt their research due to the prevailing coronavirus pandemic.

Many people argue that we have become less familiar with the deep sea than the surface of the Moon. We hope that by highlighting something new in the deep sea around New Zealand we can change this. Maybe we can make people aware that we should protect this environment before we destroy it? I am more than happy to add my small contribution to the ocean conservation programme,” added Mallefet

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About author

Tomasz Andrukajtis
Editor-in-chief of the DIVERS24 portal and magazine. Responsible for obtaining, translating and developing content. He also supervises all publications. Achived his first diving certification – P1 CMAS, in 2000. Has a degree in journalism and social communication. In the diving industry since 2008.
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