Animals never stop surprising us. Researchers discover new species of animals every year. This time, a team of Brazilian scientists discovered a fluorescent frog in the Amazon basin. This is the only naturally fluorescent amphibian discovered, until now.
Researchers were amazed to see that this frog is naturally fluorescent. Despite the fact that some marine animals have this feature, this is the first amphibian that has it too. Normally, fluorescent material is usually painted as to glow in the black.
How is this frog fluorescent?
When they observed the unique frog, researchers started to study it. They found that this animal has a skin pigment that allows it to have this feature. When they saw this pigment they wanted to verify if the frog is really fluorescent. They shined a black light at the frog and it changed its color from yellow to neon green.
Once they observed this change, they investigated further. They found 3 molecules: L2, G1, and Hyloin-L1. All of these molecules had a hydrocarbon chain and a ring. This is unusual for molecules that make animals fluorescent. Researchers mentioned that they did not discover why this animal has this features and how it got it.
One thing they noticed is that this frog can emit a lot of light. This is also uncommon for these types of animals because they normally emit little light. Researchers mentioned that this frog needs to be studied more before they can know for sure what makes it shine so bright.
The difference between fluorescent animals and bioluminescent ones
There are many marine creatures that are fluorescent. For instance, corals, sea turtles, and sharks are able to use this skill. There are also some land animals which shine in the dark. Some scorpions and parrots have this feature. These animals are able to absorb light and re-emit it.
The difference between these animals and bioluminescent ones is in the way they transmit the light. Bioluminescent creatures emit this light based on a chemical reaction. Some of the creatures that can transmit light after chemical reactions include fireflies, glow worms, catfish, and flashlight fish.
What is your opinion about this frog? Did you know that there are fluorescent creatures?
Image source: Flickr