Saturday, March 10, 2012

Light and deep-sea organisms

Did you know that...

  • ... the US Navy funded research into bioluminescence because they were worried that glowing plankton would give away the position of their submarines?
  • ... the "green-eyed fish" Chlorophthalmus converts the light it receives in its lens to green light by fluorescence because that's what its retina is most sensitive to?
  • ... that mackerel and other shiny fish reflect light off their undersides to confuse predators looking up at them from below, and also manage to match the polarization of the reflected light?
Read more about these cool ways in which biology uses light in this magazine article in Science summarizing recent results that were presented at the SICB meeting in January.

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