These bacteria have what it takes
To add pinkness to some lakes.
Each teeny weeny organism
Needs a microscope to see ‘em.
Sulphur and sunlight are needed both
As input for this microbe’s growth.
When the day is sunny and bright
Bacteria can make this pretty sight.
The pink lakes take us back to the world of sulphur. Sulphur is common and widespread. It can be used by some organisms, especially pink bacteria, as a source of energy. These bacteria are therefore like plants, they carry out photosynthesis to create biological matter (themselves) The bacteria are tiny, about 1/1000 millimeter wide. They capture sunlight with their pink pigments. They convert sulphur from one form to another, creating tiny bright sulfur droplets in the cells. This type of organism can grow in waters where there is no oxygen, and in such enormous numbers that they turn the water pink.
This slug has a neon pink glow.
Why put on such a show?
Living on a single mountain,
Its long future is not certain.
If this species is to survive,
All of its guys must stay alive.
Slowly slithering is not ideal
Easy pickings for a meal.
Maybe the color is a warning sign:
Birds! Don’t eat! I am not benign.
Slugs are snails without shells. This slug is an amazing fluorescent pink. It is a species of Triboniophorus. It is found on a single mountain in Australia. The mountain area is cooler and damper than the surrounding flat lands, a drier and hotter environment that the slug seems unable to live in. So it cannot move away from its home mountain. When an animal has a single place to live, it is very much at risk of extinction from natural disasters such as fires that sometimes pass over the mountain. The future of the slug is very uncertain. It is suggested that the bright color intimidates predators, and so the slug is less preyed upon. This has never been tested.
If you have comments, criticisms, want more information, or want to add your own examples of pink organisms – please let us know below.