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Still Waters

Three deep-sea shark species glow in the dark

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Still Waters

Scientists studying sharks off New Zealand have discovered that three deep-sea species glow in the dark – including one that is now the largest-known luminous vertebrate.

Bioluminescence – the production of visible light through a chemical reaction by living organisms – is a widespread phenomenon among marine life, but this is the first time it has been documented and analysed in the kitefin shark, the blackbelly lanternshark, and the southern lanternshark.

The sharks were collected during a fish survey of the Chatham Rise off the east coast of New Zealand in January 2020.

The kitefin shark, which can grow to 180cm, is now the largest-known luminous vertebrate: what researchers referred to as a “giant luminous shark”.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/mar/02/giant-luminous-shark-researchers-discover-that-three-deep-sea-sharks-glow-in-the-dark

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