The ocean remains a mysterious place that still hold numerous secrets, despite the fact that many scientists are working hard to explore it. The latest discovery came from a team of researchers from the University of Copenhagen and the Greenland Institute of Natural Resources.
The researchers discovered that starfish that live on the ocean floor have eyes. This is new information, and scientists have only discovered this for starfish that live near the shore. As it turns out, they are not the only starfish with eyes.
Until now, researchers have only focused on the starfish living near the shoreline. Now they collected starfish from various depths, including 1000 meters below the surface. They collected the specimens from the North Atlantic, near Greenland.
After analyzing them, they discovered that 12 species had compound eyes, just like the starfish near the shore. They also discovered that two of the species with eyes were also able to emit flashes of light because they were bioluminescent. Researchers believe that they use bioluminescence to communicate. Nevertheless, this only a theory and further research is needed.
All the species that had a compound eye, also had them uncovered. The eyes are placed on the bottom side of the arm tip, which means that starfish are able to point their eyes in any direction they want. They also found one species without eyes living relatively close to the shore.
The research does not stop here, and researchers aim to discover even more things in the future. For example, they want to find out how starfish use their eyes, and how they use bioluminescence. However, research is not that easy since they will need specialized equipment to study creatures on the ocean floor. Additionally, they might need a light source, which means that the environment would be changed.