Fluorescent Platypuses (??)

I was pleasently surprised and bewildered about this article in the New York Times reporting on a recent paper in the journal Mammalia about fluorescence being observed in platypuses when shining ultraviolet light on them… Yes! Not only are platypuses the most extraordinary collection of oddities from being mammals that lay eggs, webbed feet and duck-like bills as well as being venomous… and now they also fluoresce!

Now it is nothing strictly new. As Cara Giamo reports in the NYT article “A lot of living things do, too.” (That is fluoresce). Scorpionslichens and puffin beaks all pop under UV light. As far as mammals go not many have this ability, but there are some examples such as a rainbow of opossums or a bright pink flying squirrel.

As to why the platypus fluoresces, well, that remains a mystery!

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