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BIOLUMINESCENCE. What is Bioluminescence?. The production of light by living organisms as a result of a chemical reaction either within certain cells or organs OR outside the cells in some form of excretion. Produced by the compound luciferin and the enzyme luciferase.

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Presentation Transcript
what is bioluminescence
What is Bioluminescence?
  • The production of light by living organisms as a result of a chemical reaction either within certain cells or organs OR outside the cells in some form of excretion.
  • Produced by the compound luciferin and the enzyme luciferase.
who is lighting up in the ocean
Who is lighting up in the ocean?
  • Bacteria
  • Dinoflagellates
  • Jellyfish
  • Squid & Octopus
  • Annelids (worms)
  • Krill & Shrimp
  • Seastars, Brittlestars, Sea Cucumber
in the deep ocean where sunlight is absent more than 90 of the animals are luminescent
In the deep ocean, where sunlight is absent, more than 90% of the animals are luminescent !!!

Krill

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Annelid (segmented worm).

Lives 3000 m below surface.

Ctenophore Deiopea

Comb Jelly

Dinoflagellates

small squid
Small Squid

Enlargement of Photophores (light emitting organs)

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Anglerfish

Dragonfish

Hatchetfish

so why do they do it
So….why do they do it?

Finding or attracting prey

  • Fish such as the anglerfish use a light organ filled with bacteria that dangles from their forehead.
  • Prey are attracted to the light in the same way that a fisherman might use a glowing lure for night fishing.
  • Some fish use bioluminescence as a flashlight. They use light, produced by symbiotic bacteria living in an organ below their eyes, to light up potential prey.
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Defence against predators
  • Can serve as a decoy. Some squid and shrimp produce a luminescent glowing cloud.
  • When attacked by a predator, brittlestars sacrifice a part of the body that continues to flash as the animal makes its escape.
  • Where the sunlight is dim, it can be used as camouflage.
  • Many small plankton use flashes of light to startle their predators in an attempt to interrupt their feeding.
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Communication / Mating
  • Attract opposite sex.
  • Bristle worms use bioluminescence during mating swarms, where the males will attract females to them.
  • Crustaceans send out coded messages when it is time to mate.

This octopod uses its bioluminescence as a private signal for mating.

Light is produced only at certain times, by a ring around the mouth of females.

are bioluminescent animals found only in the ocean
Are bioluminescent animals found only in the ocean?
  • There are a few species on land.
    • Fireflies during the summer in North America.
    • Glow worms (actually fly larvae) in New Zealand.
    • Railroad worms (actually beetle larvae) in South and Central America.
  • But, bioluminescence is not found in freshwater lakes or rivers.
copy these questions down and answer in your notes
Copy these questions down, and answer in your notes

Bioluminescence Questions

  • How is bioluminescence produced?
  • List six creatures that emit bioluminescence
  • Describe the three reasons why creatures in the ocean use bioluminescence.
  • What colour is most bioluminescence and what is an exception?
  • Why might creatures emit a bioluminescence liquid?