Monday, May 24, 2010

In living color

Light produced using the chemical process of bioluminescence spans the entire range of the visible spectrum. Bioluminescence has evolved independently several times in the tree of life. However, the majority of bioluminescent organisms reside in the open ocean, where their bioluminescence helps species in over 700 genera evade predators, attract mates, and find food. In Science Volume 328, Number 5979, Issue of 07 May 2010 (p. 704–708), Dr. Edie Widder reviews recent advances in understanding the evolution and distribution of bioluminescence in marine systems.

Photostomias guernei, 470 nm