Light up to be eaten

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Anders Garm


University of Copenhagen


DKK 468,000




Research Infrastructure


The deep sea is often described as a vast dark habitat but in fact there is a surprising amount of light created by organisms living there - bioluminescence. Bioluminescence plays a very important ecological role in the deep sea but there are still huge gaps in our knowledge here. Based on our recent unique observation that a species of deep sea starfish has bioluminescent eggs, we hypothesize that the eggs light up to be eaten by fish and thereby dispersed - like seeds in an apple - which would be a novel function of bioluminescence. On deep sea cruises we will collect fresh material and test the hypothesis through physiological and behavioral experiments. The outcome will be important new insight in deep sea ecology and functional significance of bioluminescence.

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