Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Solving The Mystery Of The Metallic Sheen Of Fish

Date:
January 17, 2008
Source:
American Chemical Society
Summary:
The bright, metallic sheen of fish skin -- source of endless fascination for fishermen and aquarium owners -- is due to a sophisticated system of crystals that enhance light reflection and may help fish hide from predators in the wild, scientists are reporting.

The bright, metallic sheen of fish skin is due to a sophisticated system of crystals, Israeli scientists report.
Credit: Courtesy of Florida Keys NMS; Photo by Bob Care

The bright, metallic sheen of fish skin -- source of endless fascination for fishermen and aquarium owners -- is due to a sophisticated system of crystals that enhance light reflection and may help fish hide from predators in the wild, scientists in Israel are reporting.

In the new study, Lia Addadi and colleagues note that researchers have known for years that guanine crystals in the skin underneath the scales of fish reflect light to produce a mirror-like sheen.

This silvery reflectance acts as a form of camouflage that helps protect fish from predators as fish swim near the water's surface. However, the exact shape of these guanine crystals and how they work remained a mystery.

The researchers extracted guanine crystals from the skin of the Japanese Koi fish and analyzed the crystals using X-ray diffraction and an electron microscope. They compared the results to guanine crystals made in the laboratory.

The researchers found that the biogenic crystals develop in an unexpected direction that differs from the lab-made crystals and that their unique shape improves light reflectivity. The arrangement represents a "strategy evolved by fish to produce more efficient photonic crystals," the article states.

The study "Biogenic Guanine Crystals from the Skin of Fish May Be Designed to Enhance Light Reflectance" is scheduled for publication in ACS' Crystal Growth & Design.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Chemical Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Chemical Society. "Solving The Mystery Of The Metallic Sheen Of Fish." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 January 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/01/080114100008.htm>.
American Chemical Society. (2008, January 17). Solving The Mystery Of The Metallic Sheen Of Fish. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/01/080114100008.htm
American Chemical Society. "Solving The Mystery Of The Metallic Sheen Of Fish." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/01/080114100008.htm (accessed September 19, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Friday, September 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Elephant Undergoes Surgery in Tbilisi Zoo

Raw: Elephant Undergoes Surgery in Tbilisi Zoo

AP (Sep. 18, 2014) Grand the elephant has successfully undergone surgery to remove a portion of infected tusk at Tbilisi Zoo in Georgia. British veterinary surgeons used an electric drill to extract the infected piece. (Sept. 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Chimp Violence Study Renews Debate On Why They Kill

Chimp Violence Study Renews Debate On Why They Kill

Newsy (Sep. 17, 2014) The study weighs in on a debate over whether chimps are naturally violent or become that way due to human interference in the environment. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Some Tobacco Farmers Thrive Amid Challenges

Some Tobacco Farmers Thrive Amid Challenges

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) The South's tobacco country is surviving, and even thriving in some cases, as demand overseas keeps growers in the fields of one of America's oldest cash crops. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Given Rare Glimpse of 350-Kilo Colossal Squid

Scientists Given Rare Glimpse of 350-Kilo Colossal Squid

AFP (Sep. 16, 2014) Scientists say a female colossal squid weighing an estimated 350 kilograms (770 lbs) and thought to be only the second intact specimen ever found was carrying eggs when discovered in the Antarctic. Duration: 00:47 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins