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February 6, 2012
Scientists have discovered two species of bioluminescent creatures living on the seabed . This image shows the kidneys bright yellow and transparent purple mouth Swima fulgida, found off the coast of California, USA Details of the discovery were published in the Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society of London.
Dr. Karen Osborn has been studying the functions of the Swima fulgida and his colleagues at Scripps Institution of Oceanography and Research Institute Monterey Bay Aquarium in the U.S.
Swima worms can grow to three centimeters long and use fan-shaped bristles to swim to depths of over 2,700 meters. There are bioluminescent in the dark depths of the ocean due to a chemical reaction in their bodies.
The researchers collected samples of the worms for study in the laboratory, where they could identify bioluminescent structures. The chemicals responsible for the bioluminescence is shown in this photo green fluorescent.
The worms make use of small "bombs" that are released to distract predators and swim away from the threat.
Another new species, Tawitawiensis Swima, was discovered off the coast of the Philippines for an international research group led by Larry Madin, of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, U.S. Unlike the species found off the U.S. west coast, this is orange.
Since 2003, nine species of worms have been discovered Swima using submersible vehicles operated by remote control.