bioluminescence

Showing 6 posts tagged bioluminescence

Nature often devises surprising solutions for hunting food, warning predators away, and attracting mates, but one of the most magical-looking of these solutions might be bioluminescence, or biochemical light created by a living creature.

In this TED Ed video by Leslie Kenna, watch how creatures like angler fish, deep sea shrimp, railroad worms, and fireflies make and use this glow. And then learn more about how humans might put this biochemical solution to good use in innovative new ways.

How would you use bioluminescence?

From PBS Digital Studios’s UnderH2O team, go on a Blackwater Drift Dive

The vast, unexplored ocean is filled with wonderful and mysterious creatures. This week, we journey far offshore for a midnight drift dive with over 1,000 feet of water between us and the seafloor. The animals here are bizarre and beautiful, and little is known about their biology. 

Related viewing: The Deep SeaThe Secret Life of Plankton, The Plankton Chronicles: Sea Urchin, and Green Bomber Worms.

This is the swima bombiviridis, a bioluminescent “Green Bomber” that was found in deep Pacific waters in 2009 by Karen Osborn of Scripps Oceanography. From ScienceMag.org

Thousands of meters below the sea, a tiny worm wriggles through the darkness, its dozens of paddle-shaped bristles moving in beautiful coordination. Suddenly, a hungry predator appears. The worm releases a glowing green sac, and the fish homes in on this bright new trophy. By the time the fish realizes the sac is no meal, the worm is long gone.

From MBARI.org.

From Wikipedia

Arachnocampa is a genus of four fungus gnat species which are, in their larval stage, glow worms. They are found mostly in New Zealand and Australia in caves and grottos, or sheltered places in forests.

The larva spins a nest out of silk on the ceiling of the cave and then hangs down as many as 70 threads of silk (called snares) from around the nest, each up to 30 or 40 cm long and holding droplets of mucus…

The larva glows to attract prey into its threads, perhaps luring them into believing they are outdoors, for the roof of a cave covered with larva can look remarkably like a starry sky at night.