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Scientists have discovered fluorescent frogs

The trait is "unprecedented" in amphibians

Scientists have discovered fluorescent frogs

Scientists in Argentina have discovered the world’s first fluorescent frog — by accident.

Researchers at the Buenos Aires Natural Sciences Museum were studying the polka-dot tree frog, which is usually dull, when they noticed that it glowed after they shined ultraviolet light on it. 

“We couldn’t believe it,” study co-author Julián Faivovich, a researcher who worked on the project from the University of Buenos Aires, told the journal Nature.  “I’m really hoping that other colleagues will be very interested in this phenomenon, and that they will start carrying a UV flashlight to the field,” he said.

Fluorescence is the ability to absorb light at short wavelengths and re-emit it at longer wavelengths. Other animals such as jellyfish, scorpions, and even birds have similar glowing qualities, but it’s “unprecedented” in amphibians, according to the researchers.

The team is still trying to determine whether this quality comes from the frog’s biology or its habitat.

 

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