Neon fish evolved separately many times
|January 8, 2014||Posted by News under News, Convergent evolution|
… but we need a yellow filter to see them. At first, a researcher thought that the photographer had photoshopped the colours in as a joke. (Nope. See the first vid.)
More than 180 species of fish, from at least 50 taxonomic families, can absorb light and re-emit it as a different color, researchers report today in PLoS ONE1. Caught by cameras fitted with yellow-colored filters, fish such as the flathead (Cociella hutchinsi), found in the tropical Pacific Ocean, become show stoppers.
The researchers found biofluorescence in both cartilaginous fish, such as sharks and rays, and bony fish, such as eels and flatfishes. That the phenomenon appears in groups separated by more than 400 million years of divergent evolution suggests that it evolved independently many times, Sparks says. Biofluorescence — which is distinct from bioluminescence, the production of light by a living organism through a chemical reaction — is also seen among some corals, cnidarians, arthropods and parrots.
Someone copy Simon Conway Morris, Cambridge convergent evolution champ, on this. See also: “Fossil evidence demands a radical rewriting of evolution.”:
Remember, this guy isn’t poison yet because he doesn’t agree that there is evidence for design in nature. But he says,
The idea is this: that convergence – the tendency of very different organisms to evolve similar solutions to biological problems – is not just part of evolution, but a driving force. To say this is an unconventional view would be something of an understatement. To start with an example of convergence (itself an astonishing phenomenon), take the “camera eye” – an eye comprising a lens suspended between two fluid-filled chambers, and the kind of eye which you are using to read this feature.
“If you go to the octopus and, if you’re not too squeamish, dissect it, you’ll find that it has a camera eye which is remarkably similar to our own,” says Conway Morris. “And yet we know that the octopus belongs to an invertebrate group called the cephalopod molluscs, evolutionarily very distant indeed from the chordates to which we belong.
See also: Convergent evolution seen in hundred of genes.
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