A Clinical Case from the Archives : 11/06/2005

This young human has developed a strange ocular luminescence concurrent with his tenth birthday. What other animal uses bioluminescence to see?

The dragonfish, living at a depth of 1000m, uses red bioluminescence to detect its prey. At that depth, the only natural light is at the far blue end of the spectrum, so by using red bioluminescence and having a retina, unlike those of its prey, which is sensitive to light at that wavelength, the dragonfish can detect its prey while they can’t see it coming!

 

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