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Ostracods are one of the ocean-living animals which give off light when they are disturbed.
They produce the chemicals luciferin and luciferase, which emit light when mixed together. The process is called bioluminescence, an adaptation that allows animals to be seen in the complete darkness of the deep sea.
To demonstrate why organisms are able to generate light, ostracods were put into a tank containing cardinal fish, which eat plankton.
When an ostracod is swallowed, it emits a burst of light, making the cardinal fish spit it out.
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