Light-emitting animals

Probably everyone was admiring the green summer lights of firefly-bugs on a warm summer evening! But did you know that not only some bugs but also other light-emitting animals have the ability to glow?

But did you know that not only some bugs but also other light-emitting animals have the ability to glow?

For example, at night on the shore of the Black Sea one can see light strips on the crest of waves - sparkle for a moment and darken... It turns out that the light emits billions of microscopic light-emitting animals - infusorians, known as noctilucent. In the body of each such noschesvet scattered yellowish balls, which emit light.

Other marine animals, such as jellyfish, can radiate light: large and small, dark and glowing blue, then green, sometimes yellow, sometimes reddish. If you dive deeper, you can see the fish emitting light. One of the fishes has bright eyes, the other is sitting on the muzzle, the tip of which resembles a lighted electric lamp, and some light-emitting fish are completely flooded with radiance due to special organs located along their body. On the seabed, among the stones and seaweed, light-emitting worms and mollusks are swarming. Their bare bodies are dotted with shiny stripes, spots or speckles; on the ledges of the underwater rocks the sea stars shining with light; immediately sniffs at all ends of its hunting territory cancer, illuminating the path lying in front of him with huge eyes that look like a telescope. But most magnificent is one of the cephalopod molluscs: it is bathed in bright blue light.

There are light-emitting animals and among the inhabitants of the land - it's almost entirely beetles. There are six species of such beetles in Europe. In the tropical countries, they are much larger. All of them form one family fireflies.

Individual types of fireflies emit light of relatively large force. There are fireflies that glow so brightly that on a dark horizon from a distance you can not immediately determine what is before you: a star or a firefly. There are species in which both males and females glow equally well. There are, finally, some kinds of bugs, in which the male and female glow in different ways, although they look the same: in the male, the organ of luminescence is better developed and acts more energetically than the female.

What makes the light emit light-emitting animals of the underwater and terrestrial world and what role does it play in their lives?

Among microscopic organisms there is a bacteria that emit light. They live freely or as parasites in the body of various animals and on rotting corpses. Breeding in huge quantities, these microorganisms cause a glow: shone at night rotten stumps and heaps of rotten fish. In noctilucent, for example, it is the glowing bacteria living in her body. But not always the glow of animals is associated with the activity of luminous bacteria. Sometimes light is produced by special luminous cells of the animal itself.

The organs of luminescence of various light-emitting animals are constructed in one type: one is simpler, others are more complicated. How are they built and how do they operate? In the skin of the cephalopod mollusc there are small solid oval bodies. The front part of this body, looking outward, is completely transparent and represents something similar to the lens of the eye, and the back, most of it is wrapped in a black envelope of pigment cells. Directly under this shell are silver rows in several rows: they form the middle layer of the luminous organ of the mollusk. Under it are complex cells, resembling the nerve cells of the retina. They lined the inner surface of this calf (apparatus). They also emit light.

What is the role of glow in the life of light-emitting animals? The answer to this question in each individual case has not yet been achieved. But the benefits of glow for many animals can hardly be doubted. Glowing fish and crayfish live at a depth where sunlight does not penetrate. In the dark, it is difficult to distinguish what is being done around, track down prey and in time to slip away from the enemy. Meanwhile, glowing fish and crayfish are sighted, they have eyes. The ability to glow facilitates their life. Some varieties of small luminous crustaceans in the moment of danger throw a jet of luminous matter, the resulting luminous cloud hides them from the enemy. Finally, the glow in some animals serves as a means of locating and attracting one sex of the animal to another.