Generally the platypus is considered a bit of an oddity. It’s an egg-laying mammal, has the bill of a duck, tail of a beaver, webbed feet, uses electrolocation, oh and its one of the few venomous mammals. Clearly the platypus was designed for the spotlight though – the UV spotlight that is.

It has recently been found that platypus fur glows a bluish-green colour under blacklight and is one of the few recorded cases of mammals exhibiting biofluorescence – alongside opossums and North American flying squirrels. Although it isn’t currently clear why a platypus is always ready for a night out at the disco (or if they can even perceive UV rays).

What other nocturnal animals may be hiding their own fluorescent secrets?

Tanya Strydom is a PhD student at the Université de Montréal, mostly focusing on how we can use machine learning and artificial intelligence in ecology. Current research interests include (but are not limited to) predicting ecological networks, the role species traits and scale in ecological networks, general computer (and maths) geekiness, and a (seemingly) ever growing list of side projects. Tweets (sometimes related to actual science) can be found @TanyaS_08.

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