Bioluminescence, pictures, Science

Nagoya Aquarium – Bioluminescent Species

I was only able to find two bioluminescent species at the Nagoya Aquarium. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to observe their bioluminescence, but take a look!

One was the Pinecone fish, also known as the knight fish.  This Japanese species has two small black spots underneath its chin that bioluminesce at night.  The reason for their bioluminescence is still not understood.

Another was the sea pen.  The bioluminescence of this species is dazzling, I saw it once in person after-hours at the Uozu Aquarium in Toyama. When disturbed, the cnidarians withdraw into their coral, and then a green sparkling sweeping light covers the sea pen.  It reminded me of the Eiffel Tower at midnight.

Bioluminescence, pictures, Science

Sea Creatures of Uozu Aquarium – 1 – Pandalid Shrimp

I recently visited the Uozu Aquarium in Toyama while searching for the Japanese Fireworms in Toyama Bay. The aquarium staff were extremely helpful and hospitable, and our laboratory group had the chance to spend three leisurely hours exploring the aquarium.  I was able to take a lot of videos, so I plan on posting one per day here with short descriptions.

Day 1 – A Pandalid Shrimp

I’m not sure what this species is, but it is a pandalid shrimp – a species that is probably edible! These shrimps are found in cold waters, and aside from being delicious, are economically important.  Most pandalid shrimp start their lives as males, then become females later in life – a life strategy not uncommon in the ocean. Most species live between 3-5 years and can lay thousands of eggs in one season. Fried or fertilized?

Many Heterocarpus shrimp (a genus of pandalids) use bioluminescence to defend themselves by ejecting a blue glowing cloud into the surrounding water when disturbed.  This blue cloud gives the shrimps a chance to escape, like a squid’s ink cloud.