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Bioluminescence is the production and emission of light by a living organism...


Biology Articles » Zoology » Bioluminescence » Characteristics of the phenomenon

Characteristics of the phenomenon
- Bioluminescence

Bioluminescence is a form of luminescence, or "cold light" emission; less than 20% of the light generates thermal radiation. It should not be confused with fluorescence, phosphorescence or refraction of light.Ninety percent of deep-sea marine life is estimated to produce bioluminescence in one form or another. Most marine light-emission belongs in the blue and green light spectrum, the wavelengths that can transmit through water most easily. However, certain loose jawed fish emit red and infrared light.Non-marine bioluminescence is less widely distributed, but a larger variety in colours is seen. The two best-known forms of land – bioluminescence are fireflies and New Zealand glow worms. Other insects, insect larvae, annelids, arachnids and even species of fungi have been noted to possess bioluminescent abilities.Most forms of bioluminescence are lighter (or only exist) at night, following a circadian rhythm.

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