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Frog light

South American tree frogs have found the ability to fluorescence.

When talking about glowing animals, usually referring to bioluminescence. In bioluminescence light is obtained by a special enzymatic reaction: for example, the enzyme luciferase, which in different versions have bugs fireflies, oxidize a special substance called luciferin, and light is obtained as a by-product of oxidation. In addition to the fireflies and all insects, the luminescence is used by many fish, worms, jellyfish, fungi, bacteria, unicellular eukaryotes.


Tree frog Hypsiboas punctatus. (Photo: Batista Ediego / Flickr.com.)

Tree frog Hypsiboas punctatus in normal light and in UV light. (Photo: Julian Faivovich, Carlos Taboada.)”

Another way to emit light – the fluorescence. When the fluorescent substance absorbs the energy coming to him in light waves, then to emit its own light, but with a longer wavelength . For fluorescence we need a substance in which the electrons are under the action of light energy to get excited, and then lose the excitement, at first little by little, without radiation, and then abruptly slipping to the initial energy state – this sharp jump down and will generate fluorescent light.

Fluoresces we have many marine animals, but land creatures fluorescence is very rare: until now it was known only about some butterflies, Scorpions, wavy parrots. And now they added another South American tree frog Hypsiboas punctatus.

This species was known for a long time, just on the fluorescence it has not been tested. Researchers from the University of Buenos Aires, came up with the idea that H. punctatus can Shine through the pigment biliverdin: the group of frogs that applies to H. punctatus, biliverdin color bone and tissue in a greenish hue, but in some insects the same biliverdin, being associated with proteins radiates dull red light.

On a regular light H. punctatus painted with a mixture of shades of yellow, green and red. But when it shone far ultraviolet (or UV-A), the frog instead of the red one lit up a bright blue-green light. The point was not to biliverdin, and in the three special molecules called groin-L1, groin-L2 and groin-G1, contained in the lymphatic tissues, skin and glands of external secret.

Chemical structure gillinov – ring with an attached hydrocarbon chain is such that similar molecules have only plants, while other animals, they have no analogues. In an article in PNAS , the authors write that frogs fluoresce quite strongly – their glow is 18% of the lunar light during the full moon.

We can assume that H. punctatus could see each other thanks to the fluorescence, although it is unknown how they have a vision, so the authors are going to soon find out whether ocular photoreceptors H. punctatus generally to catch its own glow frogs. It is possible that other tree frogs can fluoresce, but there is not check not know.

According to the materials NatureNews

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