Biologists have discovered invisible deep-sea fish

Biologists have discovered invisible deep-sea fish


2020-07-20 12:22:00

Some deep-sea fish are difficult to see in good light, and at a depth of numerous hundred meters they definitely disappear, reflecting 99.5% of the light. Fish found off the coast of California and the Gulf of Mexico are perfectly camouflaged due to the precise structure of pigment grains in pores and skin cells. The precise black skin allows deep-sea population to keep away from meeting with predators - this is a superb approach for survival in a competitive environment. At depths wherein there's no daylight, they are almost invisible. The skin of these "invisibles" absorbs light so much that even in bright light, only their silhouettes are visible. And in total darkness, even when surrounded by bioluminescent light generated by organs or special cells, they completely disappear.

Scientists from Duke University (USA) located out that the particular location of granules just beneath the pigment layer of the pores and skin makes ultra-black fish. A team of researchers led by Alexander Davies studied the skin of fish using light and electron microscopy. "We found a continuous layer of densely Packed melanosomes-organelles that contain melanin. This layer, which lies close to the surface of the skin, has almost no non - pigmented gaps," says Davies. "This structure ensures that even scattered residual light is absorbed." The skin of some fish species can take in nearly all the light that falls on them, and only 0.05% of this light is reflected back.

"Light isn't always thrown back and does no longer penetrate the skin - it gets into the layer of melanosomes, and then simply disappears," says Karen Osborn, one of the authors of the study. Studying the structure of pigment cells in such fish, the researchers observe, "may additionally inspire the development of new synthetic light-absorbing materials."


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