Glowing reptile

Hawskbill sea turtleScientists have found the first biofluorescent or “glowing” reptile: the hawksbill sea turtle (Eretmochelys imbricate). David Gruber, associate professor of biology at Baruch College in New York City, was filming fluorescent corals near the Solomon Islands in the South Pacific when “out of the blue, it almost looks like a bright red-and-green spaceship came underneath my camera.” This is the first time researchers have identified biofluorescence in a reptile in the wild. Biofluorescence occurs when an organism absorbs light from an outside source, such as the sun, transforms it and then reemits it as a different colour. “It could be a way for them to communicate, for them to see each other better, or to blend into the reefs, which are also biofluorescent,” Gruber said. “It adds visual texture into the world that’s primarily blue.”

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