Skip to main content
  1. News
  2. Science & Space

New study finds 180 never before seen biofluorescent fish species

See also

John Sparks, a curator at the American Museum of Natural History's Department of Ichthyology, and David Gruber, an associate professor of biology at Baruch College and a research associate at the American Museum of Natural History, reported the discovery of 180 species of fish that demonstrate never before seen biofluorescence in the Jan. 8, 2014, issue of the journal Public Library of Science.

The waters of the world’s oceans filter the spectrum of sunlight so that most of the light that reaches any depth in the water is blue. The researchers found that a large number of bony fish and cartilaginous fish have proteins that turn the blue light into red, orange, and neon green light. The light may play a role in identification of predators, mating, and schooling.

The researchers found that a large number of the animals that populate coral reefs and coastal waters have a yellow light filter in their eye. This filter allows the fish to see the biofluorescent fish.

The researchers simulated the blue light environment in laboratory conditions and were able to observe the biofluorescent fish. The scientists also simulated the blue light from sunlight under water at night and were able to see the biofluorescent fish display by wearing yellow light head visors.

The exact chemistry that produces the biofluorescence in fish is not known but the researchers propose that the chemicals may be useful in human disease identification and targeted treatment.

Advertisement

Related Videos:

  • The protesters are campaigning against the annual dolphin hunt which commences in Taiji, Japan today
    <div class="video-info" data-id="518091634" data-param-name="playList" data-provider="5min" data-url="http://pshared.5min.com/Scripts/PlayerSeed.js?sid=1304&width=480&height=401&playList=518091634&autoStart=true"></div>
  • 'More stimulating programs that are fast paced, include many camera cuts, really draw you in and distract you from what you are eating. They can make you eat more because you're paying less attention to how much you are putting in your mouth.' Dr. Tal.
    <div class="video-info" data-id="517921467" data-param-name="playList" data-provider="5min" data-url="http://pshared.5min.com/Scripts/PlayerSeed.js?sid=1304&width=480&height=401&playList=517921467&autoStart=true"></div>
  • Neanderthal rock engraving from Gorham’s Cave, Gibraltar.
    <div class="video-info" data-id="518380895" data-param-name="playList" data-provider="5min" data-url="http://pshared.5min.com/Scripts/PlayerSeed.js?sid=1304&width=480&height=401&playList=518380895&autoStart=true"></div>