Researchers at the Catholic University of Louvain and the New Zealand National Institute for Water and Atmospheric Research discovered the shark species last year. They write this in a study which was released last week.
Three species of sharks
These are three different sharks: the false spurdog, the black bellied lantern shark, and the southern lantern shark. These species were already known to scientists, but no one knew that they illuminated. “We were very surprised,” one of the researchers told the British newspaper The Guardian. ” Why ? Why are these sharks glowing? “
Researchers are particularly interested in the luminescent dogfish, which can be up to three meters long. This shark has no natural enemies, so the Glow Trait cannot be used to deflect attacks. The shark can use light to find prey.
All three shark species live in the deep ocean, at depths between 200 and 1,000 meters. This area is also known as the twilight zone. Researchers suspect that the two smaller shark species emit light to protect themselves from attacks from the depths. They have nowhere to hide in the ocean.
This is not the first time that luminescent animals have been discovered. Researchers have already encountered a shark that shed light in the Gulf of Mexico. This animal was only 14 centimeters long, but scientists also thought this finding was very special.