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Australian scientists discover wombats glow under UV light

Australian scientists discover wombats glow under UV light

Australian animals are lit.

Scientists in Australia have made the startling discovery that wombats and other marsupials glow under ultraviolet light — following the accidental finding by US scientists that another of the country’s native animals are biofluorescent.

Researchers at the Western Australian Museum discovered the stocky marsupial’s secret after they decided to “fact-check” a paper published by Wisconsin researchers about biofluorescent platypuses, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation reported.

Paleontologist and curator of mammalogy at the museum, Kenny Travouillon, borrowed a UV light from the arachnology department and shined it on their collection of specimens after hearing about the paper, published last month in the journal Mammalia.

“The first one we checked was the platypus obviously. We shone the light, and they were also glowing, it confirmed the research,” Travouillon told the broadcaster.

He then shone the UV light on wombats and marsupial moles — and they also lit up, the outlet said.

Dr. Paula Anich, the US researcher from Northland College who made the platypus discovery, said that the ability to glow could be a form of camouflage.

“It is possible that it is actually taking the ultraviolet light that is more prevalent at dusk and dawn, making it kind of disappear so that any predators that are keying in on ultraviolet light can’t see the platypus because it is kind of cloaking itself,” she told the ABC.

Dr. Travouillon added that “the benefit is probably so they can see their species from a distance, and they can approach them because they know that it is safe to go towards that animal,” the outlet reported.

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With a knack for storytelling, Evan started News Brig about a year ago. Covering substantial topics under the Sports,, he helps information seep in deeper with creative writing and content management skills.

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