What should look like the Little Mermaid from the point of view of science

Buzzfeed, an online resource, asked marine evolution scientist Joseph Shaw of Indiana State University to tell what the main character would have looked like if she lived in different parts of the oceans. Ariel, painted in 1989 by Disney artists, hails from the shallow regions of the Atlantic. She has fair skin, red hair, and other similar creatures are her neighbors. But everything will be completely different when you live, for example, at a depth of five kilometers.

The inhabitants of the coral reef boast the brightest colors of all parts of their bodies among marine inhabitants. The little mermaid would not be an exception: since the habitat will be shallow water with crystal clear water, colored patterns on scales or skin can serve as a disguise, as well as a means of communication with relatives. In addition to color, coral mermaids will also differ in modest sizes to effectively hide from the threat in the local flora.

Mermaids living in the open ocean will always move in a group, their bodies should be as smooth as possible, and their muscles strong. Also, their backs will become dark, and the parts of the body, facing the bottom - light, to complicate the detection of predators. Ariel's oceanic relatives will be the most sociable, because life in a close collective is the only guarantee of their survival. In addition, they will also be the fastest.

In this picture, not albinos, but mermaids from the Arctic. Their bodies contain a lot of subcutaneous fat, and the blood contains natural antifreeze. The color is as close as possible to the color of snow and ice, so that fabulous creatures approaching the surface do not become easily noticeable prey for a bear, whale or birds. Moreover, polar mermaids will be the slowest of all - metabolism “tuned” to maximize energy savings in icy waters will affect.

The deep-sea mermaid seemed to come from terrible nightmares. There is some truth in this thought - it lives almost without food, and also completely without light and in very cold water. These distant relatives of the cartoon heroine will have atrophied eyes, special sensitive processes, long teeth and some kind of bioluminescent bait for various fish.

Naturally, this is just an attempt by Joseph to show his daughter and other children with specific examples what adaptive mechanisms are found in nature. The scientist did not focus on many fabulous assumptions, primarily regarding the method of breathing the Little Mermaid - judging by all indications, she is not a mammal, but she does not have gills either.


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