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World’s first fluorescent frog discovered in Argentina

/ 07:45 AM March 15, 2017

via GIPHY

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Scientists have discovered the world’s first so-called fluorescent frog in the Amazon basin in Argentina.

Researchers at the Bernardino Rivadavia Natural Sciences Museum in Buenos Aires accidentally discovered the special trait while studying the pigment of the South American polka-dotted tree frog (Hypsiboas punctatus), a common species in the continent.

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According to a report by Nature, Carlos Taboada and Julián Faivovich, herpetologists at the University of Buenos Aires, were stunned to discover that the polka-dotted tree frogs inhabiting a jungle in Santa Fe radiated a bright green color instead of a red one.

During daylight, the translucent frog flaunts its dull brown skin with dots but when it is subjected to the rays of UV light, it unfolds a neon green hue on its skin. It is deemed rare for amphibians like frogs to exhibit fluorescence, the ability for something to absorb light at short wavelengths and re-emit it in a longer period of time.

It is deemed rare for amphibians like frogs to exhibit fluorescence, the ability for something to absorb light at short wavelengths and re-emit it in a longer period of time.

‘This is very different from fluorophores found in other vertebrates, which are usually proteins or polyenic chains,” Maria Gabriella Lagorio, a photochemist and co-author of the paper, told Chemistry World.

How does the creature emanate its fluorescent glow? It is a combined result of hyloin-L1, hyloin-L2 and hyloin-G1–three molecules found in the frog’s lymph tissue–and glandular secretions.

Taboada, Lagorio, Faivovich and the rest of their team published their groundbreaking findings on Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.  Gianna Francesca Catolico /ra

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TAGS: Argentina, fluorescent frog, fluorescent light
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