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General Characters of the Animal and of the Photogenic Material

light, juice, water, cavernularia and granules

GENERAL CHARACTERS OF THE ANIMAL AND OF THE PHOTOGENIC MATERIAL Panceri (24), working with Pennatula phosphorea, has given us the best account of phosphorescence among the pennatulids. He de scribes the light as coming from eight bands of cells on the outer wall of the stomach and continued into buccal papillae. They contain a luminous "fatty" matter which can easily be squeezed out as a sort of slime and which does not decompose readily. He also found that on stimulation a wave of light would pass over the colony in any direction at a rate of about 5 cm. per second. In a form like Cavernularia he describes also somewhat similar conditions (u, p. 40), but his descrip tions are very meager. I have found the Japanese species of Caver nularia more favorable for light experimentation than Pennatula, and the following pages contain confirmation of Panceri's experiments on the light-waves passing over the colony and a general account of the chemistry of light-production.

Cavernularia haberi is especially abundant in the fjord of Aburatsubo, Japan, near Misaki, the marine station of the Imperial University of Tokyo. The colony of animals lies hidden in the sand and contracts during the day, but at night takes up water and expands, large ones to the length of 2 feet. If stimulated by touching or electrically, or by the addition of ammonia, a slime is formed similar to that produced by most of the Cnidaria upon irritation, but differing in that it is brightly luminous. The whole of the outer surface of the colony can form the luminous slime, but not the spongy inner material. The stalk, containing no polyps, is especially brilliant.

The slime may be dried over and will give light when mois tened with sea-water or fresh water.

By squeezing Cavernularia, from which most of the sea-water has been gently pressed, one can easily obtain a luminous juice which is still luminous when filtered through filter paper and retains its lumi nescence for several hours. Examination of the filtrate under the mic roscope in the dark shows that the light comes from minute points of light which make the field of view look like the starry heavens. If

water is added to this sea-water juice, the light is greatly increased, due to the appearance of numerous additional points of light. These points of light come from minute granules and globules easily visible in the filtered juice under the microscope. The addition of water to a dark Cavernularia juice which has stood for two days will cause the appearance of light due to the dissolving of the granules and globules. So sensitive are they to the addition of water that 1 drop of fresh-water added to 5 c.c. of juice will produce light, and so bright is the light that the addition of 1 drop of Cavernularia juice to 5 c. c. of fresh-water produces a light easily visible when the drop is mixed with the 5 c.c.

By centrifuging the filtered juice, the granules may be partially thrown down and will give a brilliant light if fresh-water is added, while the liquid itself (turbid in appearance) gives a much fainter light. No light is produced upon the addition of water to a parchment paper sea-water dialysate of the juice, so that light-production is undoubtedly connected with the visible globules and granules of the juice. That it is connected with the solution of the granules is indi cated by the fact that fresh-water but not salt-water or isotonic cane sugar is able to call forth the production of light. The process appears to be similar to the cytolysis of cells, as can be observed by an inspec tion of table 8, which shows the effect of adding various substances to the dark juice of Cavernularia.

The light-giving granules of Cavernularia will pass through an alun dum filter crucible (R A 84) of the finest pores, but not through a Pasteur-Chamberland filter-tube. The liquid passing through the latter is perfectly clear and non-luminous and gives no light when water is added.

There is no adsorption of the light-producing substance by bone black or Fe(OH)3.