Siphonophores are especially scientifically interesting because they are composed of medusoid and polypoid zooids that are morphologically and functionally specialized. Each zooid is an individual, but their integration with each other is so strong that the colony attains the character of one large organism. Indeed, most of the zooids are so specialized that they lack the ability to survive on their own. Siphonophorae thus exist at the boundary between colonial and complex multicellular organisms. Also, because multicellular organisms have cells which, like zooids, are specialized and interdependent, siphonophores may provide clues regarding their evolution.
Like other hydrozoans, certain siphonophores can emit light. A siphonophore of the genus Erenna has been discovered at a depth of around 1,600 meters off the coast of Monterey, California. The individuals from these colonies are strung together like a feather boa. They prey on small animals using stinging cells. Among the stinging cells are stalks with red glowing ends. The tips twitch back and forth creating a twinkling effect. It is theorized that twinkling red light attracts small fish that have been found eaten by these siphonophores. While many sea animals produce blue and green bioluminescence, this siphonophore was only the second lifeform found to produce a red light,the first being the Scaleless Dragonfish, Chirostomias pliopterus.
I found this video uploaded on myspace by a guy named Grant. It seems to be some kind of footage shot by a Japanese submersible or underwater camera obviously. This animal is clearly very long and seems to have a huge mass of tentacles. If anyone has any idea of what this is and/or who shot please let me know because this is surely something amazing.