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Why Do Deep Sea Creatures Glow?

Posted in Science, on 02-10-2013 by Oceans Society | Return to previous page

Deep sea creatures, who live in complete darkness at the ocean's bottom, have evolved to emit light through the mixing of the chemicals luciferin and liciferase together with oxygen.

Why Do Deep Sea Creatures Glow?
Deep sea creatures, who live in complete darkness at the ocean’s bottom, have evolved to emit light through the mixing of the chemicals luciferin and liciferase together with oxygen.  This process is known as bioluminescence, which is a marvel that occurs specifically in hundreds of species of fish and invertebrates.  Primarily, marine organisms emit a blue/ green light due to marine organisms’ sensitivity to blue light. Additionally, blue travels best in water. The Malacastoeid fish family is unique in that it evolved to emit a red light, which gives the species an advantage by allowing them to see their prey while remaining incognito.
Some glowing fish bioluminesce continuously while others flash their lights, which can be a warning sign to stay away, a form a camouflage to blend in with the moonlight, or a tool for navigation and communication. The angler fish, featured in Finding Nemo, lures in its prey with a light on top of its head. Bioluminescence is one of nature’s beautiful wonders!
Original article by http://www.seasky.org/deep-sea/biolumiscence.html.

Posted in Science, on 02-10-2013 by Oceans Society | Return to previous page

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