Scientists have discovered a reptile that emits lights. It is the first ever bio-fluorescent reptile discovered.
Explorers have discovered a Hawksbill sea turtle off the Solomon Island that displayed neon green and red fluorescence.
The discovery was made during an expedition near the string of string of Papua New Guinea.
David Gruber, a researchers from the City University of New York and an emerging explorer of national Geography, and his team has made the discovery of the endangered animal while scuba diving in July this year while, and they have released the video on Monday.
Gruber said, “It was absolutely unbelievable. The turtle’s appearance was unexpected and took everyone by surprise.”
Gruber said that bio-fluorescence is completely different from bioluminescence. Bio-fluorescence is the ability to absorb blue light and emit green and red or orange right whereas in bioluminescence, the organism creates its own light with chemical reactions.
The findings have opened the door for further research, until the discovery it was not known that reptiles could exhibit this feature. However, scientists have been investigating bio-fluorescence in marine species from some years and have found more than 200 species of fishes and sharks that posses this characteristic.
Gruber said, “It started with jellyfish and coral, and the fluorescent molecules jellyfish and coral create has led to monumental breakthroughs in biomedical science.”
Gruber said that he followed the turtle for a while, before it diving into the deep water. “After a few moments I let it go because I didn’t want to harass it.”
There are many questions coming up like the whether the sea turtles can see the bio-fluorescence, from where did they get this ability, what is the objective of it, and whether other sea turtles posses a similar characteristic.
Gruber said, “Scientists believe that it is possible that these turtles eat a bio-fluorescent compound to achieve the effect, or they might even be making their own. “For fish and sharks and now turtles, it’s much more mysterious.”
The biologists have captured the turtle on a video camera system that only counted with a blue light that matched the ocean, for artificial illumination. Yellow filter on the camera is aimed to pick up fluorescing organs.