Fascinating Study Uncovers How Blind Cavefish Finds Ways in the Dark

New research examined how blind cavefish amazingly move and find their way in the dark after examining collected samples from 26 species of these fish.

The study was published in Proceedings of the Royal Society and is available on the Phys.org website.

The study consists of researchers from China, the UK and the US

Cave fish are known to be small and live in underground streams or ponds.

According to Britannica, cave fish have small and functionless eyes. The fish organs are said to be touch sensitive, which helps them sense and travel to darker areas in oceans that they cannot see.

The report also showed that the small cave fish could grow to around 10 cm. In the United States, cavefish can be found in dark limestone caves and freshwater.

Cavefish may have adapted to the dark, which helped them evolve, mutate, and thrive. In other studies, the researchers also looked at cave fish to investigate human blindness.

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In addition, the research explained how cave fish successfully adapted to the vibration frequency to find their food sources.

Find your way in the dark

cave fish

(Photo by Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)

According to the article, the researchers revealed how blind cave fish would move in the dark. They collected samples from 26 species of blind cavefish and studied the anatomy of neuromasts.

The fish can be found in streams, ponds and bodies of water around the world, however it is important to note that eye loss is common.

The results said fish that were blind or lost their eyes showed more advanced neuromasts, with fish being found to have neuromasts on the side of the head.

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Neuromasts, made up of hair cells, are important in tracking and detecting water movement for aquatic animals.

In addition, the researchers tested the cavefish in a well-lit aquarium to better observe their results. Amazingly, they observed that said fish moved their ways slightly using the side of their head with more advanced neuromast.

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Inside the tank, the fish kept a close distance.

The researchers said the fish used their sense organs to find their way, just as humans use their hands to feel their surroundings.

In 2010, researchers examined how explorers adapt to darkness, revealing behavioral and potential genetic changes that help cavefish survive underground in extreme environments.

The study was published in Current Biology.

According to the study, in extreme conditions, cave fish evolved their behavioral and genetic traits to survive in the water (by finding food) despite having lost their eyesight or vision.

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Researchers found that the need to thrive in the environment resulted from natural selection.

Big cave fish

According to National Geographic, scientists discovered a large cave fish in an underground chamber in India.

The size amazed scientists, as the cavefish was almost a foot and a half long and was said to be 10 times larger than any known species of cavefish.

The scientists said the fish may have fed on vegetation washed by underground rain, raising questions about how the fish reached a larger-than-usual size.

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