Starfish communication

Scientists have “cracked the code” of crown-of-thorns starfish communication.

For the first time, we are able to better understand the critical importance of the chemical communication that drives crown-of-thorns behaviour, providing excellent leads in the development of biocontrol technologies.

The paper ‘The crown-of-thorns starfish genome as a guide for biocontrol of this coral reef pest’ appeared online last month in the journal Nature. Click here to learn more:

Electric File Clam

Found on tropical reefs in the Indo-Pacific, the electric file clam has soft tissues which flash light like a disco ball.

For years scientists believed the light was generated by chemical reactions known as bioluminescence, but recently scientists worked out the display actually comes from a rapid change from red to white tissue.

The white (silica) side reflects 85 to 90 percent of all white light when underwater. Dark and reflective sides are exposed at a rate of 2 times per second, creating the appearance of flashing, and may be to used to attract prey, or ward off predators.