Bioluminescent Sharks Set the Sea Aglow

Many deep sea creatures are bioluminescent. However, before documenting the luminescence of the kitefin shark, Dalatias licha, there has never been a nearly six-foot long luminous vertebrate creature. In a recent study, Mallefet and colleagues examined three species of sharks: Dalatias licha, Etmopterous lucifer, and Emopterus granulosus and documented their luminescence for the first time. These bioluminescent sharks are the largest bioluminescent creatures known.

Researchers studied three species of bioluminescent sharks near the Chatham Islands, New Zealand
Coastline of one of the Chatham Islands, New Zealand
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Amazing Little Things: Luminescent Lures in the Deep Sea

small linkedin thumbnailHere we continue our “month of little things” (#NanoLuc) with a deep sea angler fish (though in the video she doesn’t look so little). This female measures a mere 9cm long and uses a bioluminescent fishing lure (modified dorsal fin) to attract unsuspecting prey toward her gaping jaws. This video from the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute is thought to be the first live footage of this species at this depth. Enjoy!  In the deep, dark depths of the ocean it’s a little light that makes a difference.