Bioluminescence

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  • Topic: Bioluminescence, Deep sea fish, Bacteria
  • Pages : 3 (856 words )
  • Download(s) : 121
  • Published : December 23, 2012
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Bioluminescence
Bioluminescence is the production and emission of light by a living organism as the result of a chemical reaction. In this process chemical energy is converted into light energy. Bioluminescence can be generated by the organism itself or by symbiotic organisms carried within larger cells (Science Reference Bioluminescence). It is generated by an enzyme-catalyzed chemoluminescence reaction, where a luciferin is oxidized by a luciferase, and in most cases an ATP is involved. This reaction can also happen either in the cell or outside of it. Some organisms give off light continually, while others can flash their lights on and off by mixing their organisms or by covering their light organs with a flap of skin. Living organisms that have this ability use bioluminescence for a variety of reasons. Such as a type of camouflage, to attract prey or mates, escape from predators, or as a type of communication. (Bioluminescence)

The Flashlight fish or Lantern fish is a deep sea fish that moves primarily at night. It is most recognized by its black body, bluish dorsal, and caudal fins. This fish gets its name from the glowing smile it appears to have. The “smile” is created by bacteria that live inside the “light” in the head of the fish right below the eye. This light is produced by the activity of these symbiotic luminous bacteria which inhabit the light-emitting organ, called a photophore. The photophore usually gives off a white color, but it may also appear yellow or blue, it all depends on the mood of the fish. This photophore is used in many different ways and when not in use can be shut off. The fish does this by rolling its light organ, moving its socket away from the translucent skin under its eyes, causing the lights to be unseen. Flashlight fishes also use their ability to emit light to disorient predators to escape and to attract their number one food source plankton. (Flashlight Fish)

The Hawaiian Bobtail Squid, usually about 2 inches in...
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