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Bioluminescence Has Evolved in Fish 27 Times

For 150 million years and counting, how fish have adapted to the darkness

Science By

Other than fireflies, few creatures on land produce their own light. It’s completely different under the sea, as ichthyologists have found that bioluminescence is so useful to fish that it has evolved at least 27 time over 150 million years, with fish using it in a variety of different ways. (The fish have no choice: they live at depths where the only light will be created by them or other fish.)

“When we see something that’s repeatedly evolving over and over again, that’s a good clue that it is of biological importance,” study leader Matt Davis of St. Cloud State University in Minnesota declared.

National Geographic has video of these remarkable deep sea angler fish in the darkness of their natural habitat. Watch it below.