Recently I went to a talk where a scientist from our local University, UNC-Charlotte, was speaking about bacteria. He shared that at one point in time he was working as a marine biologist in Florida and that they would go out and get samples of marine life. One of the animals they caught was the anglerfish. The anglerfish lives in the deep dark places in the oceans and uses bioluminescence to attract prey.
I find this fascinating. The anglerfish has “a piece of dorsal spine that protrudes above their mouths like a fishing pole.” National Geographic At the end of the ‘pole’ there is a bulb filled with bioluminescent bacteria. These bacteria live in symbiotic relationship with the fish. The Professor said the anglerfish farms the bacteria, proving them nutrients and purging the dead bacteria.
I looked up some other information and found that anglerfish also live in a symbiotic relationship with their mates.
When a male anglerfish finds a female, he will bite her side and become attached to her. Male anglerfish do not have the bioluminescent rod so they can’t attract prey the way females do. Eventually “the male physically fuses with the female, connecting to her skin and bloodstream and losing his eyes and all his internal organs except the testes. A female will carry six or more males on her body.” National Geographic
Another article said that the female is constantly releasing the bioluminescent bacteria into the water, providing a source of bacteria for female offspring.
The more I read about and learn about God’s creation, the more in awe of Him I become. There is such diversity, sometimes oddity, in all the amazing things He has made. When my children were younger, and we were homeschooling, I remember going to sea aquariums and looking at all the variety of fish and thinking not only is God amazing but He must have a wonderful sense of humor too.
And He gave us dominion over these animals, His creation, the work of His hands, which He loves.