Introduction: Angler Fish and Their Luminescence
Angler fish are fascinating creatures that live in the deep sea. They are known for their unique way of hunting, which involves using a bioluminescent lure to attract prey. This lure is located on the end of a modified dorsal fin, and it can be lit up to attract prey, which the angler fish then swallows whole. The luminescence of the angler fish is a curious topic that has fascinated scientists for many years. In this article, we will explore the reasons behind the angler fish’s luminescence, its evolution, and the chemical process that makes it possible.
What is Luminescence and How Does it Work?
Luminescence is the emission of light by a living organism or object. It is different from fluorescence, which is the emission of light by a substance that has absorbed light. Luminescence can occur naturally in living organisms, like angler fish, or it can be artificially induced. The process of luminescence involves the conversion of chemical energy into light energy. This happens when a molecule called a luciferin reacts with a molecule called a luciferase, which produces light. In the case of the angler fish, the luciferin and luciferase are located in specialized cells called photophores, which are found on the body and the lure of the fish. When the angler fish wants to attract prey, it can activate the photophores and produce light.