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Scientists crack secret of fish's deadly, transparent teeth

This April 2019 photo provided by Audrey Velasco-Hogan shows a dragonfish during a specimen collection session along the coast of San Diego, Calif. The deep-sea creature's teeth are transparent underwater - virtually invisible to prey. According to research released on Wednesday, June 5, 2019, they are made of the same materials as human teeth, but the microscopic structure is different. And as a result, light doesn’t reflect off the surface. Photo: (Audrey Velasco-Hogan via AP)
This April 2019 photo provided by Audrey Velasco-Hogan shows a dragonfish during a specimen collection session along the coast of San Diego, Calif. The deep-sea creature's teeth are transparent underwater - virtually invisible to prey. According to research released on Wednesday, June 5, 2019, they are made of the same materials as human teeth, but the microscopic structure is different. And as a result, light doesn’t reflect off the surface.

June 05, 2019 10:44 AM

Scientists have discovered what makes a dragonfish's teeth transparent -- and this may help the deep-sea fish catch their food.

The dragonfish is a small predator with needle-like teeth that jut out from its mouth.

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Researchers reported Wednesday that the teeth are made of the same materials as human teeth, but their microscopic structure is so different that light doesn't reflect off them. Instead, most light passes through, so the teeth are almost completely concealed.

Some other predatory deep-sea fish also have transparent teeth, so this might be a common strategy.

Their finding in the journal Matter was from dragonfish found about a third of a mile underwater off the coast of San Diego.

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Credits

Associated Press

(Copyright 2019 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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