The Ultimate Bioluminescence Quiz

Staff

4 Min Quiz

Image: refer to hsw

About This Quiz

Have you ever wondered how some animals are able to glow? Light is generally associated with the sun or with electricity, yet these creatures use neither of these to produce light. See how bright you are about bioluminescence by taking this quiz.

What is bioluminescence?

Bioluminescence is when an animal makes its own light and carries it around on its body.

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What is the process of incandescence?

Incandescent light is light produced through heat.

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How do animals create light?

Animals create light through a chemical process, whereby chemicals mix together producing a glow. This process is know as luminescence.

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Why is luminescence known as cold light?

Luminescence neither requires heat nor does it produce heat. It is therefore referred to as cold light.

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Why is it difficult for scientists to study bioluminescence in creatures?

Bioluminescent animals sometimes exhaust their glowing abilities when captured or the process of capture may damage the light-producing organs. This makes it difficult to study them.

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When is light produced?

Electrons move up an atomic orbit when they get excited by energy. When an electron settles back down, it releases the energy, known as a photon, in the form of light.

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Where do most bioluminescent creatures exist?

Most bioluminescent creatures are found in the sea. However, animals such as certain fungi, glow worms and fireflies are bioluminescent creatures found on land.

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How many zones of the ocean are there, according to amounts of light that reach it?

There are three zones, according to depth. The first zone is the sunlit zone, called the euphotic zone. The second zone is the twilight or disphotic zone. The third and deepest zone is the midnight or aphotic zone.

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In which ocean zone are most bioluminescent sea creatures found?

Most bioluminescent creatures exist in the disphotic or twilight zone of the ocean, which generally extends from about 660 feet to about 3,000 feet deep. Examples of bioluminescent animals that live here are jellyfish, squid, shrimp, krill, marine warms and fish.

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Why is the sea a blue-green color?

Red, orange and yellow light from the sun are absorbed by seawater and violet light is scattered in the water. This means that the only light that reaches the twilight zone are blue and green wavelengths, creating the blue-green color of the sea. Blue and green have short wavelengths which helps them to penetrate the water.

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What color light do most bioluminescent animals produce?

Bioluminescent creatures create a light of about 440 to 479 nanometers, which matches the blue-green color of the ocean. Their glow can travel a long way and blends in with the sunlight from above. Sometimes bioluminescent animals are the primary source of light in an area.

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What is the milky sea phenomenon?

Dinoflagellates are a species of single-cell plankton that glow when disturbed by tides, storms, marine creatures or passing ships. These disturbances cause large amounts of dinoflagellates to glow simultaneously, producing a glow so bright that it can interfere with marine navigation.

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Why do animals use bioluminescence?

Animals use bioluminescence for a range of reasons, including to communicate, to locate food in dark areas, to mimic other animals and as self-defense to blind predators.

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How do animals use their light as camouflage?

Some animals light their undersides in order to blur their outlines and blend in with the light above, since it is difficult to see below into the dark parts of the ocean below but it is easier to see silhouettes of animals above.

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What triggers the reaction that creates light in an animal?

Triggers may be neurological, mechanical or chemical. There are two types of substances involved in the light producing process. One is known as luciferin, a light producing substance, and the other is a luciferase, an enzyme that catalyzes the chemical reaction.

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The terms luciferin and luciferase come from the Latin word lucifer. What does lucifer mean?

Lucifer means light-bringer. Luciferins and luciferases are generic terms for the types of chemicals that take part in the bioluminescence chemical reaction. Many different substances can be luciferins and luciferases, depending on the bioluminescent animal.

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Some creatures produce light using light-producing bacteria. On which part of the animal do these bacteria live?

Bacteria with light-producing qualities that live in a symbiotic relationship with an animal will live in a light organ on the host animal's body.

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How do animals turn on and off the light from the bacteria?

Light-producing bacteria glow all the time. To turn on and off the light, the host animal may cover them with a piece of skin or they may be able to pull their light organs into their bodies.

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What happens to an organism's light when it uses a fluorescent substance?

Fluorescent substances absorb the blue-green light emitted by the animal and emits it as a different color. Some animals use fluorescent substances, such as green fluorescent protein, to adjust the color of the light they emit.

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Scientist have been using bioluminescent creatures to research which diseases?

Scientists are researching diseases such as cancer and Alzheimer's using bioluminescence. They have given bioluminescent traits to non-luminescent creatures to see how this effects the creature.

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