Devout followers of the blog will have already read about the science of biofluorescence (the absorption and re-emitting of light as a different color) in a previous Sunday sketch. Although common in birds, reptiles, insects, and fish, bioflourescence has previously only been shown in flying squirrels and opossums for mammals. Although it is unclear why platypuses glow under UV light, or if it even serves an actual function, this discovery demonstrates that bioflourescence may be more widespread in mammals than previously thought.
Sketch by Nalina Aiempichitkijkarn. Fact by Adrian Perez.
Source: Anich, P.S., Anthony, S., Carlson, M., Gunnelson, A., Kohler, A.M., Martin, J.G. and Olson, E.R., 2020. Biofluorescence in the platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus). Mammalia, 1(ahead-of-print).