A new type of laser made it possible to study marine animals that could not be seen in detail before. The soft bodies of deep-sea creatures are made of mucoid and gelatinous masses. Plexuses of translucent parts and sticky structures, including threads, blocks of mucus, and fine-mesh filters for collecting food, can be found in their bodies. Using this method, researchers in Australia photographed a siphonophore, which was 45 meters long. This is the longest creature they managed to discover.
The technology emits a series of rays that scan animals, collects back-scattered rays from internal tissues, and feeds information into a computer. This tool visually reconstructs living organisms in great detail. It detects internal features with the same accuracy as computed tomography scans human bodies.
Using a new technique, researchers were first able to map the structure of the internal structure of the animal, determining the exact shape and purpose of its parts. Computer power has allowed team members to turn visualization into a film that will help them carefully examine its functions.
Scientists noted that before this, no researcher had the opportunity to explore such complex structures in deep-sea creatures. Such visualizations “may shed light on some of nature’s most complex forms”.