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Bioluminescence, light animal

Bioluminescence of living organisms

 Automatic translationAutomatic translation Category: evolution
Updated June 01, 2013

Bioluminescence is emission of light by a living organism. This light is not refracted light but light produced. Thousands of animal species emit light, bacteria, fungi, algae, insects, molluscs, crustaceans, and especially the deep-sea fish, who live in the abyss.
Into the abyss, bioluminescence is common with 95% of individuals collected at 4000 m depth, are luminous.
Bioluminescence is an integral part of the means of survival of these species. These animals trigger chemical reactions in which energy is converted into light energy. The bioluminescence produced a cold light, less than 20% of the light generates heat. This phenomenon is similar to the chemiluminescence but reaction is produced by a living organism. Bioluminescence is produced by oxidation of a molecule called luciferin in the presence of an enzyme catalyst, luciferase. Bioluminescence differs animals, some will emit light yellow or red or blue. It is especially in the marine world we find a wide variety of animals light. In the depths, where sunlight does not reach at least 80% of species are bioluminescent.


Bioluminescence plays various roles: communicate with congeners, mislead or frighten predators, camouflage, etc.
But we are far from having understood the subtlety of these roles. Very specific conditions prevailing at great depths led to the development of a fauna quite different from that encountered in surface. Beyond 100 m in the dark cold water, plants disappear, life in the deep sea is pure animal. The darkness of the abyss explains the large number of species blind or, conversely, species with very large eyes, often enlarged and globular allowing them to capture any light flux.
Some have bodies capable of emitting light, the photophores. The phenomena of bioluminescence are particularly developed in fish and cephalopods depth. Fish bear decoys on the slopes, on the head or at the end of appendages used lamps.

nota: The man also emits bioluminescent light source, but the amount so small that it is perceptible only by extremely sensitive cameras.

 fish lantern bioluminescence

Image:  The lantern fish measuring between 10 and 15 cm long, waving above his head a candle that allows both to attract prey into its mouth gaping, and sexual partners.

Squid Abyss

Image:  Squid emit light by the end of their two front tentacles. Their body is covered with photophores.

 Squid Abyss

Image: Animal soft shapes and sizes tailored to surprising move quietly. credit: the blue planet 2004 © BBC

 animals luminescent depths

Image: Long, large funds were considered as deserts. credit: the blue planet 2004 © BBC

transparency amphipod or crustaceans

Image:  In the semi-darkness many animals are transparent. The transparency of this amphipod 12 cm is perfect, his head is composed entirely of two huge eyes which enables it to locate its prey.

 jellyfish abyss

Image:  This transparent jellyfish is powered by thousands of tiny cilia in this world without obstacle.

 organism with enormous eyes abyss

Image:  The dim light that reaches into the depths request parts adapted as the huge tubular eyes of the body of the abyss.

glowworm (Lampyris noctiluca)

Image:  The glowworm (Lampyris noctiluca) produces light, in reality it is not a worm but a beetle of the family Lampyridae. Females of Lampyre shine summer nights with their bioluminescence.

 luminescent dinoflagellates Gonyaulax

Image:  Some species of Gonyaulax are called "lantern of life" of the sea. Bioluminescence is produced in the organism through a chemical reaction. The algae Gonyaulax dinoflagellates are known for this eccentricity.

 Clitocybe mushroom light

Image:  The fungus Clitocybe is very toxic, it has a feature rare in fungi, its lamellae are bioluminescent, they emit a beautiful green light in the darkness of the night.

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