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Close-up of coral fluorescence in a reef lab

By Leonard Ho - Posted Apr 03, 2015 10:00 AM
Dr. Tim Wijgerde shares with Advanced Aquarist this video of stony corals fluorescencing under blue light, including some time-lapse footage of neon SPS polyps contracting and expanding.

This video shows various scleractinian corals under narrow-bandwidth blue light, which excites the fluorescent proteins in the epidermis of the animals. Fluorescence is a phenomenon where an object absorbs light of a particular wavelength (colour), and emits it at another wavelength (colour). It is still not clear why corals produce fluorescent proteins, but it seems to protect them from harmful UV-radiation and excess (sun)light.

Using time-lapse, the contractile and expansion behaviour of coral polyps is also visualized in this video.

Author: Leonard Ho
Location: Southern California

I'm a passionate aquarist of over 30 years, a coral reef lover, and the blog editor for Advanced Aquarist. While aquarium gadgets interest me, it's really livestock (especially fish), artistry of aquariums, and "method behind the madness" processes that captivate my attention.


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