Fluorescence discovered in tiny Brazilian frogs Tiny toadlets from Brazilian woodland have fluorescent skeletons, scientists realize the Independent. The glow may be used to communicate with other members of their species.
Scientists think pumpkin toadlets are using their glowing bodies either to signal to fellow frogs or to warn predators they are poisonous to eat
They made the surprising discovery while investigating how the frogs interact during mating season and deciding to shine a UV light on their backs
“In nature, if they were visible to different animals, they could be used as intra-specific communication signals with other pumpkin toadlets or as reinforcement of their aposematic colouration, warning potential predators of their toxicity.
The toadlets turned out to have entirely fluorescent skeletons, although this was only visible on parts of their body where bony plates sat underneath very thin skin.
The scientist compared the fluorescence with other closely related species to demonstrate their bones gave off a comparatively bright light.
As the toadlets area unit active throughout the day, the scientists think the UV of sunlight likely creates a glow that is visible to some animals
In parrots and spiders, similar glowing patches have been shown to play a role in sexual communication
Last year scientists found that the puffin’s brightly coloured beak also glows under UV light, and suggested this too may play a role in attracting the opposite sex. The new analysis was printed within the journal Scientific Reports.