Scientists have figured out why certain species of shark can absorb blue light in the ocean and essentially turn the light green, making them appear to glow. It’s due to a newly discovered family of small-molecule metabolites in the lighter parts of the sharks’ skin, according to a new paper in the journal iScience.
The phenomenon is known as biofluorescence, not to be confused with a related phenomenon, bioluminescence. These are not « glow in the dark » sharks. Fluorescence is a phenomenon where light is absorbed and emitted at a longer wavelength. « There are some bioluminescent sharks, and some animals have both properties, making it even more confusing, » said co-author Dave Gruber of the City University of New York. « The simplest way to think about it is that some animals make their own light [bioluminescence] and some transform light [biofluorescence]. »….Suite sur Ars Technica : ICI
photo : Un requin de l’espèce « Scyliorhinus retifer ». HYUN BONG PARK et al. / iScience