Recent studies confirm that a type of fish can turn invisible in case of emergency. By reflecting the rays of light in the water, the fish can practically render itself invisible to its enemies. Guess who is particularly interested in this ability? That’s right, the Navy.
The Navy recently funded a study in order to find out how can two types of fish, the lookdown and the big-eyed scad, hide in the light from the ones who prey on them. The results pointed towards the fact that the silver skin of the fish permits them to reflect light in different ways. Apparently the platelets in their skin cells have a special structure which lets them scatter light in many directions depending on its angle of reflection.
Furthermore, the ones responsible for this process are the guanine platelets, a microscopic element of the skin of the fish. As a result, the fish can use their skin to blend in the the light waves, one type of camouflage.
The Navy is of course interested in developing a similar feature for its ships and submarines in order to sail undetected. If such technology could be approached, it would be a huge step for camouflage.
The study was conducted by the Texas University and the results were published in the Science journal. The big-eyed scad and the lookdown are types of fish belonging the the Caranigdae family. The clan also includes fish such as the almaco, bluefin trevally, rainbow runner, ambers, ulua, thick-lipped, mackeral scad, and threadfin.
One of the co-authors of the study is an integrative biology professor at the Natural Sciences College. Molly Cummings declared that the study reflects an example where humans can follow the example of nature, and thus take advantage of evolutionary biology. She also added that it is important that people are aware that the science and military branches are according a lot of thought to evolutionary solutions and processes.
While types of fish can turn invisible in case of emergency, other animals have other means of hiding in the scenery. And these also include the predators, like the tiger or the jaguar for instance. The study showed once more the wonderful things we can learn from nature. Even though we haven’t been born with them, we possess the capabilities to acquire them.
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