Bioluminescence Essay

882 words - 4 pages


Bioluminescence Is a very spectacular biological phenomena that occurs a lot more frequently then many people expect. Most people are usually only exposed to bioluminescence through the visual observation of both Fireflies and Fungi. This little exposure to bioluminescence is due to the select few insects and fungi that actually give off light by the processes know as bioluminescence. While this process rarely occurs on land, it is much more commonly occurring in the deep ocean where sunlight cannot reach. There are many different species of marine life that actually use this process concurrently in their everyday life. The following text will explain the processes at work behind this ...view middle of the document...

This turns the luciferin to oxyluciferin if there is a presence of oxygen and this also produces light (Haddock). A bacterium that produces light does this with the same type of process with luciferin and luciferase (Lin). Bacterium has a symbiotic relationship with its host and is contained in an organ inside the animal (Lin). Many marine animals use both of these processes to produce a desired light source.
Some commonly known marine animals that use bacteria to produce light are the squid, pinecone fish and the deep-sea anglerfish (Lin). While some animals use bacteria to produce light others use chemicals that are naturally occurring in the body. One of the most commonly occurring bioluminescent structures is the dinoflagellate, which are in surface water. They commonly produce red tides during the day and give seawater a luminescent blue green color by night. Some other animals are jellyfish, sea stars, crabs, and fish (Litteral).
Bioluminescence has a very broad spectrum of uses both for predation, protection and, even communication. Some other common uses are camouflage, mimicry, attracting mates, distraction, and repulsion. Bioluminescence is sometimes used as camouflage believe it or not. Some species of squids will actually illuminate themselves to blend in with the amount of light being emitted from the oceans surface (Bioluminescence). Sometimes squids even use bioluminescent bacteria to distract predators by expelling some of the glowing material (Bioluminescence). In this case the bacteria acts just like squids ink to deter predators. Mimicry or predation is also commonly used with bioluminescence. The anglerfish has a dangling appendage that glows and looks like a worm. So when smaller fish approach this appendage, the anglerfish quickly strikes getting an easy meal (Bioluminescence). Ostracods or small...

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