What shaped the evolution of vision in fish more than anything else is the need to see, be it to avoid obstacles or find shelters, and recognize conspecifics, predators and prey. However, for vision to be effective, sufficient light has to be available. While there is no shortage of light in shallow water depths, at least during the day, the situation for species occurring at greater depths is a different one: they live in an environment where sunlight does not reach, but which nevertheless, is not totally devoid of light. Numerous marine organisms, including fishes of at least 46 families, possess the ability to ‘bioluminesce’, i.e. they can produce biological light. This chapter focuses on the interaction between bioluminescence and specific photoreceptor adaptations in fishes to detect the biological light.
Part of the book: Luminescence