Bioluminescent Bacteria


“Some more photos of the bioluminescent tide at Dog Beach (Del Mar North Beach) in Del Mar.” by slworking2 is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

What is Bioluminescent bacteria? Bioluminescent bacteria is a light produced bacteria, that is often found in sea water, on top of decomposing fish, or in the gut of sea animals, on the bottom of the ocean floor, as well as in land animals/insects such as beetles, fungi, and fireflies! The things that this bacteria attach itself to, are its food sources. These small bacteria’s are a type of plankton that light up the oceans surface at night, leading to a bright blue, or green color, for land animals it sets off a yellow-green, or red tone.

“bioluminescence in jellyfish Monterrey Bay Aquarium” by chris favero is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

This chemical reaction starts within an organism/thing that it is attached to. The species must have luciferin (a light-showing compound found on organisms.) Some bioluminescent organisms do not make luciferin. They absorb it through other organisms.

This bacteria can also be used as an defense mechanism, an example would be if a worm contained Bioluminescent Bacteria and a bird or a predator tried to eat the worm, they could get sick leading in death. As well as animals using this bacteria as a way of staying alive, others may use it to lure they’re prey with its light.

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