Teachers, scroll down for a quick list of key resources in our Teachers’ Toolkit, including today’s MapMaker Interactive map.
- Researchers describe “biofluorescence” in the hawksbill sea turtle, but our material is titled “bioluminescence.” What’s the difference?
- Biofluorescence describes the ability of living creatures to reflect light in a different color. In biofluorescence, a stimulating light is absorbed and re-emitted. The fluorescing light is only visible in the presence of the stimulating light.
- Bioluminescence describes the ability of living creatures to produce their own light through a series of chemical reactions.
- What are some examples of biofluorescent and bioluminescent animals? Take a look at the video above and our encyclopedic entry for some help.
- Why do scientists think the hawksbill sea turtle is biofluorescent? Read the Nat Geo News article or watch the video for some help.
- They don’t know! However, ”[Biofluorescence is] usually used for finding and attracting prey or defense or some kind of communication,” says one researcher. Some suggestions include:
- The hawksbill sea turtle is listed as critically endangered by the IUCN. Is this endangered species status a result of natural factors or human behavior?
- Both. Natural factors that contribute to the small hawksbill population include slow growth (they take 20 years to reach maturity) and slow reproductive rates.
- Human impacts on hawksbill population include fishing bycatch and an appetite for their eggs. However, the most devastating impact to hawksbill populations was probably the exploitation of the reptile for tortoiseshell material: accessories, furniture, guitar picks, boxes.
Nat Geo: What is Bioluminescence?
Nat Geo: Oceanographers See the Light
Nat Geo: What is a Hawksbill Sea Turtle?
NOAA Fisheries: What is a Hawksbill Turtle?
Nat Geo: Meet Emerging Explorer David Gruber