They discover a fish that can’t see with its eyes alone

Lachnolaimus maximus, commonly known as the dogfish, lives in the western Atlantic Ocean and has the ability to change color in seconds to camouflage itself and protect itself from predators. This feature was noticed by biologist Lori Schweckert during a fishing trip in the Florida Keys in the United States.

Interested in this phenomenon, Schweckert decided to investigate the physiology of “skin vision” until publishing a study, in collaboration with biologist Sonke Johnson, showing that L. A gene for a light-sensitive protein called opsin That it is activated in your skin and that it is different from the opsin genes found in your eyes.

According to the article published in the specialized journal Nature Communications, Schweckert, Johnson and their colleagues indicated that to study the mimicry of this species, they took pieces of skin from different parts of the fish’s body and analyzed them under a microscope.

In this way they notice it The skin of a dogfish looks like a pointillist painting. Each colored dot is a cell called a chromatophore that contains pigment granules that can be red, yellow or black.

They also discovered that the opsin is not located on the chromatophore carriers as expected, but rather directly below them. Therefore, the light that penetrates the skin, before it reaches the photosensitive layer, must pass through the chromatophores that are full of pigments.

The researchers said the work is important because it could pave the way toward this New sensory feedback technologies for devices Such as robotic limbs and autonomous cars that must improve their performance without relying solely on eyesight or cameras. “Sensory feedback is one of the tricks that technology is still trying to figure out,” Johnson said. “This study is a good dissection of this new sensory feedback system,” he added.

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