The false dogfish can grow up to 180 centimeters in length, making it the largest known vertebrate that can emit light. Researchers say the discovery shows how little people still know about the deep sea. These sharks all live between 200 meters and 1 kilometer deep in the water, an area known as the twilight zone.
The purpose of sharks’ glowing belly is not yet known. Researchers believe that the two smaller shark species use it to protect themselves from attacks from the depths. Spiny dogfish have no known natural enemies, so they can use them to spot their prey. Further research should prove it.
“Given the vastness of the deep ocean and the abundance of luminescent organisms in this region, it is becoming increasingly clear that the production of light at this depth plays an important role in the larger ecosystem of our planet, ”the researchers wrote. The deep ocean is also the least explored ecosystem.
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