Today’s topic is a Pyrosome.
A Pyrosome is a free-floating tunicate that live in the upper layers of the open ocean and it can grow up to several meters in length.
Don’t let it’s appearance fool you, a Pyrosome is not an animal, but rather a colony of beings called Zooid. Zooids are connected to each other by a gelatinous tunic and form a tube. Inside the tube there’s a internal filtering mesh called the branchial basket. Zooids feed themselves by drawing ocean water into their colony tube and filtering out microscopic plant cells.
The name Pryosome comes from Greek, which means fire-body. That is because Pryosomes are brightly bioluminescent. They often exhibit waves of light going back and forth through the colony, as each zooid detects, responds and emits light after one and other. These flashing lights can be seen for many tens of meters.