Bioluminescence, the emission of light from a living organism, is demonstrated by the comb jellyfish shown here. This emission also occurs in bacteria, dinoflagellates, fungi, and in many kinds of animals including insects, and fish. Specialized structures called photophores are found on the surface of a bioluminescent organism. The photophores contain the molecule luciferin and the enzyme luciferase, which act together in a cycle to emit flashes of light. Bioluminescence serves a variety of functions. It can be used to attract prey, disguise an organism from a predator, signal a mating partner, or act as a flashlight in the murky depths of the ocean. Microsoft ® Encarta ® 2007. © 1993-2006 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.