About petrel41

Blogging on animals, peace and war, science, social justice, women's issues, arts, and much more

Fluorescent marine animals, video


This 23 August 2019 video says about itself:

The allure of fluorescence in the ocean

Why do so many marine animals have bright fluorescent pigments? This video describes how one function was demonstrated experimentally.

Fluorescence is a process where high-energy light temporarily excites electrons in a molecule. When the molecule relaxes, the energy is re-emitted as a lower-energy photon with a longer wavelength. For example, blue or violet light is often used to excite green, yellow, or red fluorescent emission. Fluorescence is a passive physical property of many molecules, and unlike bioluminescence it is not something that animals can actively turn on and off.

One of the most famous molecules in all of science is Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP). It was first discovered in a bioluminescent jellyfish, and later found in non-luminous corals, sea anemones, and other organisms. These proteins have proven so useful in laboratory and clinical settings that in 2008, the original GFP researchers were awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. Yet despite the many ways that humans use the fluorescent proteins, we don’t really know the ways that the animals use them.

To test how animals might use fluorescence we conducted predator-prey experiments with the flower-hat jellyfish. We found that the fluorescent tentacle tips, when excited by ambient blue light from the environment, were an irresistible attractant to potential prey (a supernormal stimulus; see Tinbergen 1948). We also found evidence for fluorescent structures in a range of other predators.

You might have heard about fluorescent sharks and turtles, but just because something is fluorescent doesn’t mean it’s serving a useful function (see Mazel 2017). Even your own teeth and fingernails are fluorescent, but that is just because of their chemical composition.

For this video, we filmed the fluorescence of animals by shining a blue light on them and putting a yellow filter in front of the lens. The filter blocks out the excitation light but lets the fluorescent light be recorded. You can try it at home with a piece of yellow plastic and a blue LED flashlight. You might be surprised what you find!

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Sunshine Blogger Award, thank you Mel!


Sunshine Blogger Award

My dear blogging friend Mel has been so kind to nominate Dear Kitty. Some blog for the Sunshine Blogger Award.

Thank you so much for this kind gesture!

The rules of the Sunshine Blogger Award are:

Thank and mention the blogger who has nominated you by linking to their blog.
Insert the logo of the Sunshine Blogger Award in the post.
Answer the eleven questions that are posed to you.
Nominate eleven bloggers [and link to their blogs].
Formulate eleven questions to be answered.
Indicate the rules of the nominations.

Mel’s questions, and my answers, are:

1. Which beach is the best?

The beach in Cuba where I saw a piping plover.

2. What are your favourite things associated with coastal?

Shorebirds.

3. Yellow or blue?

Both.

4. What seafood is your favourite?

Seaweed.

5. Sunshine or sundown?

Sunshine.

6. Anchor or ship wheel?

Anchor when the ship is at a beautiful place.

7. Sunflowers or seahorses?

Seahorses.

8. Seaside or the sea?

It depends.

9. House by the sea or house by the beach?

It depends.

10. What do you think of lighthouses?

My blog got the Lighthouse Award.

11. Do you think Spongebob Squarepants is a nautical nonsense or a hilarious cartoon?

A ‘spongebob fungus’ was discovered in Borneo.

My 11 questions are:

1. Who is your favourite artist?

2. Who are your three least favourite prominent people in politics?

3. Who are your three least favourite prominent people in business?

4. Which is your favourite bird species?

5. Which is your favourite mammal species?

6. What is the best thing which happened to you in 2019?

7. Which film did you see, but wish in retrospect you had not bothered to see?

8. Which book haven’t you read yet, but would like to read?

9. If you would be invited to make a space journey, then to which solar system planet would you like to go?

10. To which country where you have not been yet would you like to go?

11. If WordPress would stop, would you continue to blog elsewhere?

My 11 nominees are:

1. XOG-OGAAL

2. Nico’s Domain – Ignorance Is Bliss

3. Numansh

4. Inspirational Quotes

5. traveller with purpose

6. Environmental Systems and Societies

7. Graffiti Lux Art & More

8. Queen’s end

9. News from Ibonoco

10. Novas Namaste 365 Online

11. notestoponder

Chalicotherium, strange prehistoric mammal


This 15 September 2019 video says about itself:

Chalicotherium – The Hoofed Gorilla-Mimic

This strange extinct mammal is actually related to horses, rhinos and tapirs, but they evolved in a very distinct way, giving rise to some of the most unique animals that ever lived.

If anyone knows who the artist is that did the reconstruction in the thumbnail, please do let us know – I tried (and failed) to find out who this was myself.