How Do Glowing Sharks See in the Dark? New Surprises Revealed
Deep-sea sharks wield some surprisingly well-adapted eyes that help them see in the dark, according to new research.
Transparent patches of skin above their eyes and a unique arrangement of light-sensitive cells on their retinas, among other things, allow five species of bioluminescent deep-sea shark to collect and focus as much light as possible to hunt prey and find each other in the gloomy depths.
These discoveries are helping to overturn a long-held view that sharks rely heavily on smell to get around.
“Historically, sharks have been considered to have poor eyesight,” said Tom Lisney, a sensory ecologist at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, who wasn’t involved in the research.
Fairly recently, though, studies have shown that that might not be the case.