When most of us think about Tasmanian devils, we automatically think about the cartoon character that spins like a tornado. In reality, they are actually interesting creatures and it seems as if they have a superpower as well: They can glow-in-the-dark!

The Toledo Zoo made the discovery and posted it on December 5 to their Facebook account. It is the first time biofluorescence been seen in marsupials and documented.

The zoo posted the following information along with a picture: “Biofluorescence refers to the phenomenon by which a living organism absorbs light and reemits it as a different color. In the case of the Tasmanian devil, the skin around their snout, eyes, and inner ear absorbs ultraviolet light (a type of light that is naturally abundant, yet invisible to humans) and reemits it as blue, visible light.”

According to the zoo, biofluorescence occurs in other animals from Australia, including the wombat and platypus. Some animals native to the United States may also glow, such as Southern flying squirrels and Virginia opossum.

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Although the Tasmanian devil may glow at the zoo, they might not glow in the wild, as they are nocturnal animals.

According to ABC, a technician with the Toledo zoo conservation, Jacob Schoen, shared that a special camera was used to determine that Tasmanian devils are biofluorescent. Pictures from the camera showed their glowing blue eyes, snout, and ears. He admitted that it was shocking when they first saw it because they weren’t expecting it.

University of Kansas biologist Leo Smith, who also is an expert in biofluorescence, spoke with NPR, saying they weren’t sure why certain animals had that trait.

He said they weren’t sure what the advantage would be and there wasn’t a good explanation for it. He also said that it may be possible to take the molecules and do something important with them that extends beyond nature.

The post Zookeepers Discover That Tasmanian Devils Can Glow In The Dark appeared first on The Animal Rescue Site News.

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