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Biology/Why do ctenophores refract light and/or bioluminesce?


I became fascinated with the beautiful comb jellies and I wondered if there is any hypothesized reason for why they do refract light the way they do or even bioluminesce.
If there isn't any proposed adaptive function for this in ctenophores then what is the use of such function in other marine animals which maybe are better studied?
Thank you.

Hi Andi
Why questions involve the area of evolutionary biology. Bioluminescense in comb jellies occurs because it is a result of the evolution process. It occurs because it is what works best. The question to consider is what advantage it gives the animal in order to ensure survival. Comb jellies  use it for predation, communication, and also as a defense mechanism. It acts as a camouflage in Comb jellies matching the rays of light or colors penetrating the surface.  Other marine animals use light it involves communication. Land animals such as fireflies use it in mating


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Walter Hintz


Science teacher for over 50 years. MSc. in biology. I can answer questions in general biology, zoology, botany, anatomy and physiology and biochemistry.


I have a MSc in biology and have been a science teacher for over 50 years. At present I am a faculty member at a college and a science consultant at seven catholic schools.

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