Friday, August 31, 2012

Deep Sea Sponge, Shrimp & Bioluminescent Bacteria

The relationships between the deep sea sponge and shrimp and bioluminescent bacteria are fascinating. The deep sea sponge lives on the ocean floor and grows into a skeleton made of glass. At the sponge's base where it is connected to the floor, there is a crown of thin strands that act like perfect optical fibers. These fibers guide light from one end to the other. The resource for this light is from the bioluminescent bacteria that live on the sponge and shine light through the glass skeleton. The light attracts many other living things through the darkness of the ocean floor including food for shrimp. A pair of shrimp live in the sponge, eat what comes by, then leaves it's waste for the sponge to eat all while being protected by the sponge's illuminated glass skeleton. The deep sea sponge needs the shrimp for food while the shrimp needs the sponge for protection and the bioluminescent bacteria to attract its food. This relationship between all three is remarkable because they all need each other in order to survive. 

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