Bioluminescence

Bioluminescence

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Credit: DANT FENOLIO/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

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Caption: Bioluminescent fungus or bacteria on leaf litter. The forests of the upper Amazon Basin are home to a tree known by the Amerindians of the region as the Yacushapana Tree (Buchenavia sp.: Family Combretaceae). The trees are especially common in secondary forests that seasonally are inundated by floodwaters. An Amerindian told me about a spot in the forest where the forest floor glowed brightly at night. He took me to the spot at night. We walked out to a spot in the forest with out headlamps and he told me to look up and turn off my light. As my eyes adjusted, I began to see stars in canopy openings. He told me to look at the ground. The forest floor looked like the stars above with hundreds of glowing patches and spots, every bit as bright as the stars.

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Keywords: bioluminescence, bioluminescent bacteria, bioluminescent fungus, bioluminous organisms, buchenavia, cold light, combretaceae, forest floor, glowing leaf litter, glowing leaves, leaf litter, natural light, peru rainforest, peruvian forest, yacushapana tree

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