Scientist found 30 different ancient seashells and discovered that when ultra-violet light is applied, amazing colors are emitted from the seashells. The seashells is estimated by the PLOS to be around 6.6 and 4.8 million years old. They appeared white under a regular white light and when under UV light their real colors seem to become visible.
Researchers explain that “The biology of modern Conidae (cone snails)-which includes the hyper diverse genus Conus-has been intensively studied, but the fossil record of the clade remains poorly understood, particularly within an evolutionary framework”.
As the UV light is made present around the seashells its organic matter that had continued to exist on it would glow. It then makes the shells appear the way they did when living creatures known to have occupied them. The study has not yet determined which certain compound in the shells are actually producing the light when under the UV rays.
The technique allows the researchers to easily record the coloration patterns of the 28 different cone shell species that had originally existed in the Dominican Republic. Of the 28 shells, 13 were species that were not earlier identified. Researchers think it may help them determine the connection between recently discovered species.
More than 350 fossil specimens were exposed to ultraviolet light by Jonathan Hendricks a geologist from San Jose State University. They found that most of the ancient species showed likeness in their coloration pattern with the animals presently existing. From this study, some new species surface from its ancestry which has started in the Caribbean millions of years ago.
The Conus carlottae which is one of the newly identified species is noticeable with its polka-dotted shell that does not appear in the modern cone snails in the present. UV rays are now being used by researchers on porcelain white seashell fossils to be able to see it release its true colors.