The research, published this week in the journal iScience, shows that the glowing green spots and stripes, a form of biofluorescence, is created by a pathway different from any other known form of biofluorescence. The process involves molecules that were previously unknown to science.
What’s even more exciting, says study co-author David Gruber, is that these newly discovered fluorescent compounds also appear to act as antimicrobial agents in the sharks’ bodies, likely protecting them from disease and algae. The findings “open up new mysteries and give yet another amazing property to sharkskin,” says Gruber, a National Geographic Explorer and a researcher at City University of New York’s Baruch College and the American Museum of Natural History.
One of the