13 January 2014

Biofluorescence in fish

"A team of researchers led by scientists from the American Museum of Natural History has released the first report of widespread biofluorescence in the tree of life of fishes, identifying more than 180 species that glow in a wide range of colors and patterns. The research shows that biofluorescence—a phenomenon by which organisms absorb light, transform it, and eject it as a different color—is common and variable among marine fish species, indicating its potential use in communication and mating. The report opens the door for the discovery of new fluorescent proteins that could be used in biomedical research."
This video is good for fullscreen viewing.   More details at the American Museum of Natural History

One item I found interesting was that the scientists developed a blue filter that subtracted the incident blue light so that only the secondary biofluroescence could be filmed, only to discover that the fish had already evolved the same filter in their own eyes.

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