Brevia

Bioluminescent and Red-Fluorescent Lures in a Deep-Sea Siphonophore

Science  08 Jul 2005:
Vol. 309, Issue 5732, pp. 263
DOI: 10.1126/science.1110441

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Abstract

Bioluminescence (light production) and fluorescence (re-emission of absorbed radiation as light) are found in an unaccountably diverse array of marine organisms, where their functions are largely unknown. Here we report a deep-sea siphonophore that twitches glowing lures to attract fish. This is rare evidence of bioluminescence used for prey attraction among nonvisual marine organisms. The lures also contain red fluorescent material that shifts the wavelength of emitted light. The existence of a red-luminescent invertebrate suggests that long-wavelength light plays a greater role in marine interactions than previously suspected.

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