Glowing mammals are really common, actually

Move over the monotremes and rodent group known to glow: More than a hundred other furry creatures also glow, new research shows, to a great extent. Increase in the number of mammals known to display the fearsome trait.

A team of researchers recently Documented luminescence in cats as well as a list of 124 other species of mammals, indicating that the class of vertebrates is still He has a few tricks up his collective sleeve. they Search is published In Royal Society Open Science.

The technical term for this glow is Great power Bioluminescence. Bioluminescence occurs when animals receive ultraviolet light and emit energy in any number of colors of the electromagnetic spectrum. Bioluminescence is Different from bioluminescence, which is the most common term that describes the glow of an organism that comes from reactions within the creature. Bioluminescence only occurs when the animal is exposed to an external light source.

In 2020, A A different team of researchers revealed The platypus — a duck-billed, poisonous swimmer that spawns in Australia — glows bluish-green under unfiltered UV light. Beside Under UV light with yellow filter. The following year, sprEngaris – a kangaroo-like rodent native to South Africa – have been found to glow a strange red color when exposed to ultraviolet light.

When the bioluminescent platypus was found, it was the third mammal to join this club after opossums and flying squirrels. But the new findings increase the number of mammals known to glow by a large margin.

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125 species of mammals that Fluoridated It was studied using samples in Western Australian Museum Collection. Some biofluorescent mammals included in Researchers included bilby, six-banded armadillo, cheetah, red fox, dwarf spinner dolphin, polar bear, and domestic cat.

Glowing fur in specimens of (a) polar bear, (b) southern marsupial mole, (c) greater bilby, (d) mountain zebra, (e) bare-nosed wombat, (f) six-banded armadillo, (g) orange Leaf-nosed bat, (h) Quenda, (i) Leopard, (j) Asian palm civet, (k) Red fox, (l) Pygmy spinner dolphin.

In some animals, such as the cat, only some of the creature’s fur appeared to glow, and in the case of the cat, the fur was white but not the dark fur. The team found that white and light-colored fur was fluorescent in 107 out of 125 species, and that pigmented claws glowed in 68 out of 125 species.

The researchers wanted to know if fluorescence was more common in nocturnal species than in diurnal species. “We performed an analysis to link the amount of fluorescence recorded in our study to environmental traits such as nocturnal activity, diet and movement,” Kenny Travoillon said. The museum’s curator of mammalogy, in a museum statement. “Eventually, we found that many diurnal mammals also glow, but nocturnal mammals glow a little more.”

Travelon Nature lovers beware Not shining UV light to detect glowing mammals at night. “Remember that UV rays can damage their eyesight, and you should use a red light to do the highlighting instead,” he said. Should you really look for glow-in-the-dark mammals?Let’s hope you find a cat and not a polar bear.

Related: As if the platypus couldn’t get any weirder

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