One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A light-producing organ in certain fishes and other animals.
- ‘Eyelightfish have a blunt snout, a large upturned mouth, a deeply forked caudal fin, and a light-emitting organ, called a photophore, under each eye.’
- ‘Rhadinesthes decimus also has a barbel that extends about half the length of the head and has photophores and luminous material near the stem.’
- ‘Jellies are everywhere in sizes and shapes that defy description, their bodies radiant ripples of photophores.’
- ‘Deep sea fish have organs called photophores which create a center for the bioluminescent reactions.’
- ‘Some, like fireflies, produce light in special organs called photophores.’
Late 19th century: from Greek phōtophoros ‘light-bearing’.
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