Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Alliteration of the Day: First Fluorescent Frog Found

Until this was published yesterday, florescence was unheard of in amphibians, which begs the questions: how many more frogs are capable of fluorescing? What is the evolutionary advantage of glowing?

If you're interested, here are some of the particulars about the article (originally published in PNAS and talked of in the "News" portion of Nature):
  • The South American Polka Dot Tree Frog was originally hypothesized to be capable of fluorescing in a soft red tone because of its transluscent skin and a pigment called biliverdin, which is known to tint the tissues and bones of amphibians green.
  • This is not bioluminescence, meaning that the frog emits this bright green glow only when ultraviolet light is shone on it
  • The strength of this emitted light might be enough for the frogs to see by 
  • It is possible that many other tree frogs with transluscent skin also carry this trait

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