Nature's light display

Help

A BBC film crew has demonstrated how ostracods use bioluminescent light to make predators spit them out.

Ostracods - small crustaceans - were put in a tank containing cardinal fish, which eat plankton.

When an ostracod is swallowed, they emit a burst of light making the cardinal fish spit it out.

The ostracods use bioluminescence to illuminate when threatened, the light deters predators who do not want to be seen.

In this clip, physicist and BBC presenter Helen Czerski witnesses this defence mechanism and said: "It's like a little fish firework."

Read more: Fish filmed spitting ostracod 'fireworks'

Super Senses: The Secret Power of Animals starts on BBC Two at 21:00 BST on Tuesday 19 August (BBC/BBC America coproduction).

Join BBC Nature on Facebook and Twitter @BBCNature.

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.