Hide the color!
one night in May 2017, biologist John Martin was looking around in his backyard with an ultraviolet flashlight. He wanted to take a look at the lichen in ultraviolet light, but he was caught by a passing little guy-a gliding American flying squirrel (Glaucomys volans), which turned particularly bright pink in the ultraviolet light.
in ordinary light, the fur of these small rodents is not so amazing. Their backs are brownish gray in different shades and their bellies are milky white on one side. Before that, no one had noticed what they looked like under ultraviolet light, and the bright pink fluorescence quickly attracted the interest of researchers.
is this a common phenomenon? The researchers conducted further investigations through field observations and specimens from the nature museum. The results show that all three living species of the genus Glaucomys do have this pink fluorescence phenomenon. Although the fluorescence intensity was different, almost every one of more than 100 specimens showed pink under ultraviolet light, both male and female, and five individuals observed in the field had the same fluorescence.
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(this is one of the specimens. On the left is the picture under visible light, and on the right is what 395nm looks like under ultraviolet light. Photo Source: Allison M. Kohler et al)
what is the use of these bright pink fluorescence for flying mice? No one knows that yet. It may be some kind of visual signal, or it may be a coincidental phenomenon. But it's a magical hidden color.
recently this unexpected discovery was published on Journal of Mammalogy. The related paper can be found at https://academic.oup.com/jmammal/advance-article-abstract/doi/10.1093/jmammal/gyy177/5299493?redirectedFrom=fulltext