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Author Topic: What is the Benefit of Biofluorescence in Animals?  (Read 1483 times)

Offline CaptMoldman

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I'm speaking strictly of "biofluorescence" here, not bioluminescence.


 

Offline chris

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Re: What is the Benefit of Biofluorescence in Animals?
« Reply #1 on: 16/10/2015 18:51:33 »
I'm speaking strictly of "biofluorescence" here, not bioluminescence.

Perhaps you could explain the distinction between these two terms, and to what sorts of animals each applies?
 
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Offline RD

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Re: What is the Benefit of Biofluorescence in Animals?
« Reply #2 on: 17/10/2015 03:47:23 »
I'm speaking strictly of "biofluorescence" here ...

e.g. fluorescent scorpions ...
 

The luminescence doesn't persist after the UV light is removed , so it's not functioning as a light-source to enable the scorpion to hunt at night.

If it has a benefit, ( it could just be a neutral phenomenon ), I suspect it's a method of re-radiating solar energy, the UV component, to lower the odds of being damaged by the desert sun, cf. sun-screen.
« Last Edit: 17/10/2015 05:06:07 by RD »
 
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Offline Colin2B

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Re: What is the Benefit of Biofluorescence in Animals?
« Reply #3 on: 18/10/2015 00:12:46 »
The point RD makes is an important one.
We often assume that if an adaption or gene has survived it must have supplied a benefit to the host. But the host might have survived due to other stronger benefits and the particular feature or gene just hitchhiked. Lucky gene.
 
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Offline CaptMoldman

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Re: What is the Benefit of Biofluorescence in Animals?
« Reply #4 on: 19/10/2015 17:11:42 »
Insightful answers! Thanks so much. It perplexed me how a trait would survive that seemed to be so rarely activated (if at all) but the piggybacking theory makes a lot of sense.
 

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Re: What is the Benefit of Biofluorescence in Animals?
« Reply #4 on: 19/10/2015 17:11:42 »

 

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