Fluorescent corals

Fluorescent corals

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Credit: EYE OF SCIENCE/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Pulse coral (centre) and hard corals fluorescing underwater, photographed at night using blue coloured flashlight and a yellow filter. Blue light excites pigments within some underwater organisms causing them to emit a fluorescent glow. These corals harbour symbiotic algae which require light to photosynthesize and produce nutrients. They also contains pigments which glow red, blue and green under blue or ultraviolet light. It is thought that in shallower waters, the fluorescent pigments in such organisms act as a sunscreen that prevents too much ultraviolet light damaging the algae. In deeper waters and lower light levels, it is thought that the fluorescent pigments absorb ultraviolet light and emit it at a wavelength which promotes photosynthesis in the algae. Photographed in the Red Sea, Egypt.

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Keywords: alga, algae, animal, anthozoa, aquatic, bioluminescence, bioluminescent, blue, cnidaria, color, colorful, colour, colourful, coral, coral reef, dark, diving, ecological, ecology, egypt, environment, environmental, fauna, fluorescence, fluorescent, fluorescing, glow, glowing, green, habitat, hard coral, invertebrate, light, luminescent, luminous, marine, marine life, marine organism, nature, night, no-one, nobody, ocean, photopigment, photosynthesis, pigment, polyp, protection, pulse coral, red, red sea, reef, scleractinia, screen, sea, stony coral, sun, sunscreen, symbiont, symbiosis, symbiotic, ultraviolet, under, under water, underwater, uv, water, wildlife, xenia, zooxanthellae

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