What is the Benefit of Biofluorescence in Animals?

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Offline CaptMoldman

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

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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 ...
 https://youtu.be/qUhGMSH2zRk?t=36s

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.
and the misguided shall lead the gullible,
the feebleminded have inherited the earth.

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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.