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On a different wavelength.

Susan Milius described the surprisingly powerful muscles of a nearly invisible crustacean in "See-through shrimp" (SN: 4/19/14, p. 4). Marine biologist Laura Bagge of Duke University hopes to find out how the shrimp's muscle fibers interact with light to achieve this remarkable transparency.

But visible light is just one type of light, as online commenter John Turner noted. "Is the transparency effect of the shrimp wavelength-dependent?" he asked. "Has anybody tried observing these shrimp with infrared film or an ultraviolet imager?"

Bagge, who chatted with readers about her work in the comment section of the story on the Science News website, responded: "These shrimp are transparent in the visible spectrum, but I do not know if anyone has yet measured the ultraviolet absorption of the tissues of these specific shrimp. Shallow waters do have a lot of UV radiation. It is thought that many transparent species are protected from radiation damage by having UV-protective pigments. Of course, if transparent shrimp absorb UV light as a means of protection, they could become visible to predators that have UV-sensitive vision." She added, "We haven't tried observing these shrimp with infrared film because no animals are known to detect those wavelengths."

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Title Annotation:FEEDBACK
Publication:Science News
Article Type:Brief article
Date:Jun 14, 2014
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