Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Meet our newfound glow-in-the-dark neighbour

Scientists have discovered two new species of a glow-in-the-dark fish family found deep in waters near New Zealand.

Researchers from the Australian Museum and the Greenland Nature Institute found they'd happened upon two new species of the bioluminescent deep-sea "barreleyes" family when they looked at the patterns of pigmented "glow-blocking" scales on the underside of barreleyes caught near New Zealand, American Samoa and in the Atlantic.

The scientists saw three different pigment patterns that suggested three distinct species - which was confirmed when looking at the genetics - and revealed that the two new species were found only in the Pacific, not in the Atlantic.

Because of their rareness and fragility, barreleye fish are not well described, although previous work suggested the family included 19 species.
Some species have organs called "soles" along their bellies, covered with pigmented scales that control the light emitted from an internal organ.

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