Deep-diving fish have a problem: The only light that penetrates their watery environment is blue and green — hardly enough of a palette for flashy color patterns.
Now, a new study reveals these fishes’ solution: In deep water, fish simply fluoresce more — a technique that allows them to convert blue-green light into red light.
"Under light conditions that do not provide the full spectrum — the full rainbow of colors that we have at the surface — it’s really nice to have fluorescence, because you can still have those missing colors,” said study researcher Nico Michiels, a professor at the University of Tüebingen in Germany…
A redeye gaper (Chaunax sp.) venting water at 240 meters depth. Seen during the Lophelia II 2008 expedition at the Green Canyon site in the Gulf of Mexico.
Gapers are Lophiiformes, in the anglerfish group, with big heads, a network of open sensory canals,and a lateral canal extending posteriorly along a compressed trunk and tail. They are sit-and-wait, ambush predators
“A large school of mobula rays fades into the waters of Baja, Mexico. “The rays were moving quite fast and it was hard enough keeping up with them from the surface, let alone diving down to take a closer look,” writes photographer Eduardo Lopez Negrete. Mobula rays are often referred to as flying rays due to their fondness for breaching.” — the 2014 National Geographic Traveller Photo Contest
Let’s also keep in mind that a mobula ray can reach 17 foot (5.2 meter) wingspan and weigh over a ton. Freaky or cool?
Baby Flamboyant Cuttlefish (Metasepia pfefferi) in egg, Negros Oriental, Philippines
“Although still inside of its egg, these flamboyant cuttlefish were still able to flash dark purple if something got too close. when they are born they will be ready to hunt and change color on their own...”