First glow in the dark Animals Found in the deep ocean

(Doc Ricketts/MBARI via AP)
NEWSLINE PAPER,- Long captivating us, the mysterious glow of bioluminescence illuminates the ocean's secret depths with its captivating show. Although summer evenings are dazzling with fireflies, this ethereal show really belongs to the deep water dwellers.

Researchers make a surprising discovery in a ground-breaking study that appears in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B: deep-sea corals that date back an astounding 540 million years may have been the first to exhibit bioluminescence. This finding casts doubt on earlier theories and moves the date of the emergence of light emission in animals.

Coral curator Andrea Quattrini of the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History and co-author of the study highlights the importance of light signalling in the ocean's depths. "One of the oldest kinds of communication that we know of is light signalling, and it's crucial in deep waters," she says.

Fish and squid to jellyfish and even sharks are among the bioluminescent marine life that abounds in the sea today. Every brilliant show has a different function; it might frighten predators or draw in gullible victims. In the deep blackness of the ocean, some species even use bioluminescence as a signal to locate mates.
(Doc Ricketts/MBARI via AP)

The techniques used to find these brilliant species are explained by co-author Steven Haddock, a marine researcher at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute. By use of a remote-controlled underwater rover fitted with a paintbrush, scientists were able to identify and examine these amazing organisms, exposing the many colours and patterns of their bioluminescent glow.

Under the researchers' light, soft corals—whose delicate shapes resemble waving reeds or bamboo stalks—showcase an amazing range of colours. These corals, which range in colour from pink and orange to white, blue and purple, give off a magical glow that brightens the deep sea's gloom.

What good is this bright display, though? Co-author Danielle DeLeo of the study and evolutionary marine biologist at the Smithsonian said that although the reason is yet unknown, the prevalence of bioluminescence in many coral species points to a critical function. This bright reaction probably is essential to the survival of these animals, either by drawing in or repelling other creatures, or maybe doing both.

The research's results are evidence of the amazing adaptability and tenacity of marine life in addition to providing a window into the past. Scripps Institute of Oceanography marine biologist Stuart Sandin highlights the importance of new features in promoting evolution. "An animal was more likely to endure and pass on a novel feature that made it really special and helped it survive," he says.

The brilliant glow of bioluminescence illuminates our knowledge of the amazing diversity and persistence of life in the depths below as we continue to solve the puzzles of the ocean.

Source : APnews

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