Velvet belly lanternshark
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Glowing shark scares off predators with 'lightsabers'

A glow-in-the-dark shark scares off predators with "lightsaber-like" spines on its back, a study suggests.

The research was carried out on the velvet belly lanternshark, a small species found in the deep waters of the Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea.

The scientists believe that while the light-up spines can be seen by larger, potentially dangerous fish, they are harder for the shark's prey to spot.

It also has a glowing belly, which it uses to camouflage itself, as Dr Julien Claes, a shark biologist from the Catholic University of Louvain in Belgium explains.

  • 21 Feb 2013
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