Thursday, 6 March 2014

Red-Seeing Fish, Blue-Seeing Fish: Deep-Sea Vision Evolves

By Wynne Parry, Live Science Contributor | March 04, 2014 10:15am ET

Fearsome-looking creatures that live in the near-dark to pitch-black waters of the deep sea, dragon fish wouldn't seem to have much need for eyes, let alone the ability to see color. However, some dragon fish have rapidly evolved from blue-light sensitivity to red-light sensitivity, and then back to blue again.

The deep sea is not the sort ofenvironment that would appear to encourage rapid evolution. "It doesn't change. It is always dark," said study researcher Christopher Kenaley, a comparative biologist at Harvard University. "There is something else down there that is driving the evolution of the visual system."

The force driving these changes is likely the bioluminescence produced by the dragon fish themselves as well as by other deep-sea creatures, he said.

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