These Fish Look Like They're Casting Spells

These Fish Look Like They're Casting Spells

When you think about mechanisms animals use to avoid becoming dinner, clever adaptations like poisons or pointy spikes come to mind. But the Ostracod, a type of zooplankton, uses something a little more magical.

To avoid being eaten by a Cardinal fish, the Ostracod excretes a blast of luminescent chemicals that act like a personal safety alarm. The Cardinal fish has predators of its own it's trying to avoid, so when an Ostracod it is trying to eat suddenly bursts into light, it immediately spits it out and dives into the ocean's murky depths. It's like the Ostracod is screaming for help, but relying on the knowledge that whatever comes to see what's going on, will be more interested in eating its attacker.

[BBC via Notcot]