'If you were to host a blacklight party in the taxidermy wing of a natural
history museum, most of the mammals would fit right in with their eerie
That's what Kenny Travouillon, the curator of mammalogy at the Western
Australian Museum, found when his team shone ultraviolet light on 125 species
of mammal in the collection.
The luminous effect wasn't restricted to platypuses and wombats, which were
identified as biofluorescent species a few years ago. Every species of mammal
they examined emitted a green, blue, pink, or white hue under UV light.
The inside of a red fox's pointy ears turned shocking, fluorescent green.
The polar bear lit up like a white t-shirt under a blacklight, as did the
zebra's white stripes and the leopard's yellow fur.
The wings of the orange leaf-nosed bat became a stark white skeleton, while its
fur glowed pink.
And the ears and tail of the greater bilby shone "bright like a diamond," as
Travouillon described in 2020.
The study showed that fluorescence is present in half of mammalian families,
almost all clades, and in all 27 orders.
"We found that fluorescence is widespread in mammalian taxa", the researchers
write. "Areas of fluorescence included white and light fur, quills, whiskers,
claws, teeth and some naked skin."
The only species of mammal that had no external fluorescence was the dwarf
spinner dolphin; only its teeth were fluorescent.'
Via Rixty Dixet.
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*** Xanni ***
Chief Scientist, Xanadu
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Manager, Serious Cybernetics