pho·​to·​phore | \ ˈfō-tə-ˌfȯr How to pronounce photophore (audio) \

Definition of photophore

: a light-emitting organ especially : one of the luminous spots on various marine mostly deep-sea fishes

Examples of photophore in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Then there’s the world’s smallest shark, the six-inch lanternshark, which advertises its own goods via photophores (or light-producing organs) clustered around its reproductive organs. Liz Langley, National Geographic, "How bioluminescence works in nature," 2 May 2019 Researchers noticed a few differences between the two fish, including fewer vertebrae and numerous light-producing photophores that cover most of the body, the report says. Ricky Pinela,, "A new species of shark has been discovered, and it glows: report," 19 July 2019 George Burgess of the Florida Museum of Natural History, who described both species, says their photophores, light-producing organs, are mainly located around their reproductive organs. National Geographic, "Living Fireworks, These Animals Produce Light Shows with Their Bodies," 30 June 2018 Some species like the Leidys comb jelly have photophores inside the bell, or main body, Burgess says. National Geographic, "Living Fireworks, These Animals Produce Light Shows with Their Bodies," 30 June 2018 Maybe the threadfin dragonfish, with its winning smile and luminous purple photophore, will unlock the next big technological innovation. Sonke Johnsen, National Geographic, "How Deep-Sea Fish Are So Exceptionally Black," 18 Apr. 2018 On their bodies, viper dogfish have little cells that produce light called photophores. Sarah Gibbens, National Geographic, "'Alien'-Like Sharks With Extendable Jaws Pulled From Deep Sea," 11 Jan. 2018 That's why bioluminescent creatures, including krill, squid, lanternfish, and dragonfish, create their own light chemically through organs called photophores. National Geographic, "Bats, Jellyfish, and Other Animals With Daily Commutes," 17 June 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'photophore.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of photophore

1898, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for photophore

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Time Traveler for photophore

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The first known use of photophore was in 1898

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Last Updated

19 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Photophore.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 25 January 2020.

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dull or mediocre

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