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Pet Patter - Catrina Skepper's Blog

The Invisible Sharks

Posted on: 5/28/2010 9:39:25 AM under Fun
Probably most people's worst nightmare, scientists have discovered that many species of shark are able to make themselves appear invisible!

Sharks spend a lot of time out in open water, making it increasingly difficult to find a hiding place from both prey and predators; however some sharks seem to have found the answer. According to the recent issue of the Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, many sharks are able to use light trickery to give the illusion of being invisible.

Research has shown that that there are at least fifty known species of shark, with ten per cent able to emit a luminous glow which makes them appear invisible.

The researchers have focused on one shark in particular, the velvet belly lantern shark, and after delving deeper into how this glow is emitted, they have found that the glow is caused from organs, called the photophores, which shine through the shark's body.

As most sharks have upward facing eyes, it is thought they are using this invisibility as a method of camouflage, enabling them to stalk and catch prey whilst evading predators.