Oceanographers See the Light

SCIENCE

National Geographic Emerging Explorer David Gruber found a secret world under the sea—and it glows. His expeditions have turned up hundreds of shimmering creatures, all showing off for one another with a mysterious fluorescence. It’s an underwater display that had never been seen before. (National Geographic News)

Use our resources to learn more about marine creatures’ “Living Light.”

Teachers, scroll all the way down for a short list of key resources in our “Teachers’ Toolkit.”

These are just some of the fishes whose fluorescent glow was exposed by David Gruber, his colleagues, and some fancy filtering on their cameras. Click here for the PLOS ONE article. A: swell shark, B: ray, C: sole, D: flathead, E: lizardfish, F: frogfish, G: false stonefish, H: false moray eel, I: false moray eel, J: pipefish, K: sand stargazer, L: goby, M: goby, N: surgeonfish, O: threadfin bream. CC BY 4.0, Copyright: © 2014 Sparks et al.

These are just some of the fishes whose fluorescent glow was exposed by David Gruber, his colleagues, and some fancy filtering on their cameras. Click here for the PLOS ONE article. A: swell shark, B: ray, C: sole, D: flathead, E: lizardfish, F: frogfish, G: false stonefish, H: false moray eel, I: false moray eel, J: pipefish, K: sand stargazer, L: goby, M: goby, N: surgeonfish, O: threadfin bream.
CC BY 4.0, Copyright: © 2014 Sparks et al.

Discussion Ideas

  • Read through our activity “Bioluminescence: Living Light.” What is different about the habitats of the creatures discussed in the activity and habitats of the creatures David Gruber studied?
    • The organisms discussed in the activity are native to the cold, dark, deep sea. The animals studied by Dr. Gruber live in warmer, shallower, moderately moonlit coral reefs.

 

 

 

TEACHERS’ TOOLKIT

Nat Geo News: David Gruber: Seeing the Ocean in Neon

Nat Geo Education activity: Bioluminescence: Living Light

Nat Geo Education encyclopedic entry: bioluminescence

Nat Geo glossary:
bioluminescence
fluorescence
ambient

(extra credit!) PLOS ONE: The Covert World of Fish Biofluorescence: A Phylogenetically Widespread and Phenotypically Variable Phenomenon

One response to “Oceanographers See the Light

  1. Pingback: World’s First ‘Glowing’ Reptile! | Nat Geo Education Blog·

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