10 Spectacular Glowing Animals
The ability to biochemically produce and emit light in the dark is called bioluminescence. And it is one of the most fascinating phenomena in nature. While beautiful to look at for an observer of glow-in-the-dark creatures, bioluminescence is actually used by many creatures as part of their survival, defense, and predatory strategies, as they use this natural “cold” light to to lure their prey or mate or distract predators. Man too, with the help of the advancement of science, has expanded the list to include some unlikely creatures. Let’s learn more about such glowing animals.
10. Man Made Glowing Animals
Scientists have used the sophistication of modern technology to make genetic changes in various animals such as; Cats, pigs, sheep, fish, cows, etc. and make them into luminous creatures. According to scientists, this could help create animals with human diseases so that they can be properly studied. And also to improve their production as well as the quality of the products we obtain from them so that they can be better resources for the human consumer.
The natural glowing mechanism comes from various methods such as bioluminescence, iridescence, etc. and these mechanisms strongly inspire people to develop pioneering inventions, and the glowing animals become the source of the natural cold light for scientific studies.
9. Firefly Squid
One sea creature that sets aside the act of bioluminescence of all other creatures is the firefly squid or twinkling enop squid. Every year off the coast of Japan, the firefly squids are observed putting on a fascinating light show. He uses his light-producing organs, called photophores; they emit a deep blue light that can flash on and off in unison or in different patterns.
These predators flash the light to lure their prey, as well as to attract mates or confuse their predators about their shape. They are seen congregating in Toyama Bay during the months of March to May, which is their mating season. Many spiders and insects also possess this ability.
Scorpions are neither bioluminescent nor iridescent, nor do they glow with the help of bacteria. They glow when exposed to ultraviolet light of certain wavelengths. They emit a bright blue-green fluorescence under ‘black light’ and also when there is sufficient moonlight.
Although the real reason or usefulness of this fluorescence is not yet known. However, scientists are beginning to believe that because scorpions don’t like, and don’t even like, UV light. They probably use this mechanism to gauge the light level. And thus determine whether or not they come out to hunt. Of course there can also be other applications, such as recognizing each other.
7. Sea Sapphire
The Sapphirina or sea sapphire is a small, parasitic crustacean or copepod. Tiny and translucent, this creature is found in marine environments around the world. These animals don’t glow: they sparkle. The reason behind this is the iridescent, crystal plates within the epidermal cells, which capture light and reflect it back. Different species give off different colors of light, including gold, blue, etc.
This light shine is only on the males, who probably use it as a way to attract the females. They light up, and in the blink of an eye they are gone. Also creating the most mind-boggling experience ever for the viewer.
6. Arachnocampa mosquitoes
Also known as the New Zealand glowworm, this fungus gnat is a luminous creature that inhabits wet caves, damp forests and caves. The caves, of which the Waitomo is one of the best known, are infested by these worms that form a glowing canopy when they stick to the ceilings or walls of the caves, or form glow worm threads.
5. Bioluminescent Bacteria
Some bacteria, which live in the marine environment or in the decomposition or guts of marine animals, have the ability to produce light. Many animals live in symbiosis with these bacteria, using their bioluminescence in exchange for shelter and nourishment in their bodies. The anglerfish, for example, has bacteria living in its barb-like escae, which glow to indicate their bioluminescence. Flashfish have bacteria that reside in the small organs under their eyes, while Hawaiian Bobtail squids harbor such bacteria in their mantles.
4. Clusterwink snail
While glowing snails show bioluminescence in the form of faint flashes in the head-foot region, the Clusterwinks snail is the only snail that flickers their shells like tiny light bulbs. The spiral shells emit a blue-green glow in flashes as a form of self-defense. Actually, it is the shell that amplifies and diffuses the light, which is produced from a single mushy spot of the snail’s body. This light shocks the predator, even attracting the snail’s predator.
3. Cookie cutter shark
The cookie cutter shark, which barely reaches the surface of the sea, has a unique way of eating: it cuts cookie-sized chunks of meat from the body parts of its prey. The ventral part of its dark brown body is thick with cells that emit a cold light. This light combines with the faint light that filters from the sky and blurs the familiar outline of the shark in the sea.
Jellyfish are another very well known luminous creature. Using fluorescent proteins, photoproteins and other bioluminescent proteins, this glorious animal can create the most beautiful underwater scenario, as it emits a glow from its otherwise transparent body. Therefore, it is a popular animal to display in public aquariums.
There are more than 2000 species of fireflies, which occur in temperate and tropical environments. Also called lightning bugs, they have specialized luminescent organs under their abdomen. They produce light of different colors, such as yellow, green, or light red, and emit the light in flashing patterns to attract mates. The light is also a sign of their unsavory taste.