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Author Topic: Can a Glow Worm Glow indefinitely ?  (Read 4775 times)

Offline neilep

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Can a Glow Worm Glow indefinitely ?
« on: 31/07/2007 19:54:00 »
Dear Glow Worm Experts,

This is a Glow Worm.



Nice isn't it ?...notice how glowy and non-wormy it looks ? (though I presume as a pupae/larva it's all wormy yes ?)




Can they glow indefinitely ?(pending death)

Have we been able to use the science behind this glow ?


 

Offline Karen W.

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Can a Glow Worm Glow indefinitely ?
« Reply #1 on: 01/08/2007 00:18:12 »
This is a cool link I wish it answered more of your question.

http://www.news.ucdavis.edu/erins_blog/?p=77



Glow worms are sensitive to light and after a few seconds exposure to it, begin dimming until they finally turn off. They are also sensitive to vibrations and will shut off at the clap of a hand as they are so sensitive.
 

Offline Karen W.

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Can a Glow Worm Glow indefinitely ?
« Reply #2 on: 01/08/2007 00:21:50 »
Here is another nice link!

http://www.4to40.com/qa/print.asp?id=736

The female glow-worm is equipped with one of the most marvelous lighting systems in the world. A wingless beetle, she crawls about a night eating small insects. But on the lower side of her abdomen she possesses a "lantern" which she uses to signal to her winged mate flying above.

This "lantern" has a transparent layer of skin, like the lens of a lamp. Behind this is an oily layer of tissue which produces the light by a chemical process, and a second layer which acts as a reflector.

The glow-worm is able to control this remarkably bright light, using it only at certain times to attract a mate. In fact, the light is a sex-call, and the male has particularly large eyes to enable him to see the signal. An abundant supply of water and oxygen is needed by the glow-worm to maintain the chemical activity producing the light. For a time, even the insect's eggs are luminous.

Glow-worms, which are about half an inch long, are natives of Europe. Other beetles with built-in lighting systems are called fireflies. Both male and female fireflies have wings and use lanterns to signal to each other and to warm off night birds who seem to find them unpalatable. The most famous are the large and brilliant cucujos of tropical America. On special occasions young women fasten them to their dresses where they shine like glowing gems.
 

Offline kdlynn

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Re: Can a Glow Worm Glow indefinitely ?
« Reply #3 on: 01/08/2007 04:15:28 »
the one i had when i was little needed new batteries every now and then, if i remember correctly...
 

Offline Karen W.

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Can a Glow Worm Glow indefinitely ?
« Reply #4 on: 01/08/2007 05:55:10 »
HEE HEE HEE>>LOL LOL!
 

paul.fr

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Can a Glow Worm Glow indefinitely ?
« Reply #5 on: 01/08/2007 07:50:58 »
Can they glow indefinitely ?(pending death)

 

I doubt it as this requires a lot of energy, the female can turn the glow on and off at will. But i don't think they can sustain a long "glow"
 

Offline Karen W.

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Can a Glow Worm Glow indefinitely ?
« Reply #6 on: 01/08/2007 10:25:42 »
Yeah I cannot find anything about after death..except for that part in the article where they say some women from other cultures can't remember where put them on their dresses and the shine like glowing gems during special occasions and such.. but I am not sure weather they are dead at this point or just clipped on carefully. ??? I guess these worms are the "Large and brillant Cucujos of Tropical America"
« Last Edit: 01/08/2007 10:29:46 by Karen W. »
 

Offline daveshorts

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Can a Glow Worm Glow indefinitely ?
« Reply #7 on: 01/08/2007 11:53:01 »
The glow worm is fundamentally turning food into light energy, so if they die the system will run out of food and stop working. I don't know if a glow worm with abundant food woudl be able to make enough chemicals to glow continuously.
 

Offline neilep

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Can a Glow Worm Glow indefinitely ?
« Reply #8 on: 01/08/2007 13:36:14 »


THANK YOU ALL .

Presumably the chemical reaction behind the glow (and for other light/energy emitting creatures) has been studied as a prelude to the possibility of creating cheap energy and fuel for us ?

I was hoping that we might have  been able to use our human ingenuity to create the same form of output....even improve upon it.

 I fully recognise that it uses the animals energy but I was wondering of the efficiency aspect of things here against anything we have now.
 

Offline Karen W.

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Can a Glow Worm Glow indefinitely ?
« Reply #9 on: 01/08/2007 13:42:10 »
Yeah I understand what you mean but do not really have an answer someone else might. You would think that in some way we might be able to use some of the science behind how they produce this glow to help us somehow..if they haven't already!!
 

Offline Bored chemist

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Can a Glow Worm Glow indefinitely ?
« Reply #10 on: 01/08/2007 20:57:13 »
"Presumably the chemical reaction behind the glow (and for other light/energy emitting creatures) has been studied "
In great detail. To do so they needed lots of glowing insects and they chose fireflies (similar idea). They paid a bounty to people for catching them and sending them to the lab for analysis. Not only did this give them the chance to work out the cheimisty involved (there's lots of stuff about it on the net. Here's a good place to start.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luciferin)
It also gave them lots of fireflies. Since only the back ends light up they wondered what to do with the leftover front ends. OK, here's where it turns into an "I heard this but I can't verify it" story. One "obvious" use for flies is to feed them to fish. They tried and all the fish died.
After a little more research they patented the moset effective shark repellent known.
OK, Against all reasonable odds, it seems I can verify the story.
http://www.freepatentsonline.com/4490360.html
« Last Edit: 01/08/2007 20:59:34 by Bored chemist »
 

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Can a Glow Worm Glow indefinitely ?
« Reply #10 on: 01/08/2007 20:57:13 »

 

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