15 March 2017 Current Affairs: A team of scientists have discovered the world’s first fluorescent frog in Argentina that emits soft green, yellow and red light under normal light, but gives off a bright blue and green glow in the dark.
The study was published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on March 13, 2017.
Fluorescence is a physical-chemical phenomenon in which short-wavelength electromagnetic radiation (light) is absorbed and then reemitted at longer wavelengths. Foran organism to be fluorescent, it must have fluorophores, the chemical compounds that can reemit light.
As per the scientist, this phenomena is rare in terrestrial animals and was unheard in amphibians until now.
Many ocean creatures exhibit fluorescence, including corals, fish, sharks and one species of sea turtle (the hawksbill turtle, Eretmochelys imbricata).
On land, fluorescence was previously known in only parrots and some scorpions.
vii. The Researchers expected that the South American polka dot tree frog (Hypsiboas punctatus) displays red fluorescence because they contain a pigment called biliverdin. Normally, biliverdin turns the amphibian’s tissues and bones green.
However, in some insects, proteins bound to biliverdin emit a faint red fluorescence.
Besides, three molecules namely hyloin-L1, hyloin-L2 and hyloin-G1 in the animals’ lymph tissue, skin and glandular secretions were responsible for the green fluorescence.
The amount of light emitted by the newly described fluorescent molecules is about 18 percent as much visible light as a full Moon which is enough for a related species of frog to see by.
The findings arises many questions as to how the tiny frog survives in its environment of fluorescence and also sets up more research into fluorescence on land.