The light emitted by a bioluminescent organism is produced by energy released from chemical reactions occurring inside (or ejected by) the organism.
If you’ve ever seen a firefly, you have encountered a bioluminescent organism. In the ocean, bioluminescence is not as rare as you might think. In fact, most types of animals, from bacteria to sharks, include some bioluminescent members.
While the functions of bioluminescence are not known for all animals, typically bioluminescence is used to warn or evade predators), to lure or detect prey, and for communication between members of the same species.
Did you know?
While some animals in the ocean emit light, some organisms absorb light, transform it, and eject it as a different color. This phenomenon, called bioflourescence, may be used in communication and mating.
Last updated: 10/10/17
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