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Light producing chemicals: how to make bioluminescence
The most remarkable luciferin in terms of its distribution is known as coelenterazine. This nitrogen-ring based molecule is found in nine separate groups, ranging from radiolarians to fish.
Flying through the air on a summer's evening or sparkling in the ocean you may see magical flashes of light that signal some of nature's most enchanting creatures, those that are bioluminescent.
Myelinated nerves in vertebrates, annelids and crustaceans
Myelinated nerves are an excellent biological solution and needless to say have evolved independently in several groups other than vertebrates. In each case myelination is associated with very rapid nervous conduction and often escape reactions.
Scanning eyes in molluscs and arthropods
Some sea snails have a linear retina. What a hopeless arrangement, to see the world through just a narrow slit! Not quite, because they have come up with a rather intriguing trick to extend their visual field - and it's a trick too good to use only once.
Telephoto eyes in animals
Pursued by the paparazzi? Watch out for those animals equipped with telephoto lenses...
Crustaceans: insights into convergence
Whilst predominantly marine, quite a number of crustaceans have invaded freshwater habitats and even more interestingly a few demonstrate terrestrialization, effectively freeing themselves from their aquatic ancestry.
Transparent tissues: eyes, bodies and reflective surfaces
Read on if you want to know about the numerous animal equivalents to the invisible man...