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A Wisconsin biologist made an unexpected discovery with an ultraviolet flashlight in hand one crisp spring night: a hot pink flying squirrel.
Jon Martin, who's also a professor at Northland College in Ashland, spotted the pink bubblegum-hued mammal in his UV beam as the creature feasted at a birdfeeder.
"I point the light at it and bam! Pink fluorescence," Martin told Newsweek.
"Fluorescence in varying intensities of pink was observed in females and males of all extant species across all sampled geographic areas in North and Central America and a temporal range of 130 years," the group wrote in a synopsis of their research.
It's still unclear why the creatures' naturally brown fur turns that shade of pink under UV light, though some guess it may be a way to communicate or identify their own species around dusk and dawn when they typically are the most active.
Out of 135 museum squirrel specimens studied, the team found only members of the Glaucomys genus—New World flying squirrels—glimmered pink, Nature reported. Shine ultraviolet light on the critters that glide from tree to tree in forests from Honduras to Alaska, and they will shimmer. But the researchers don't know what effect this has on the squirrels, so they advise not to try it out on living animals in the wild.
The fur of other squirrels—the eastern gray squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis), the fox squirrel (Sciurus niger) and the American red squirrel (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus)—had no such glow.
Researchers don’t know why the creatures' fur turns cotton-candy pink, but they think it might help them recognise each other when there isn’t much light, the team told Newsweek. It might also help them avoid predators, or have no special function at all. "This trait could just be a cool color they happen to produce," Kohler said.
originally posted by: KansasGirl
originally posted by: Phage
Darwinism is not a thing but natural selection is.
Have you seen the glow in the dark fish?
What color are they without the blue lighting? Just a non-fluorescent counterpart? So without the blue light, Instead of "galactic blue" it's just blue?