Today’s Solutions: September 22, 2021

Imagine you were out in your backyard when suddenly, a hot-pink squirrel flew by. That’s exactly what happened to a biologist in Wisconsin when he flashed his flashlight at a southern flying squirrel, a small, furry creature. Typically it has a warm brown color, but in the beam of a flashlight, the squirrel had a neon glow similar to what you would find in a jazzercise class circa 1988. The discovery prompted researchers to examine more than 100 specimens of flying squirrels under UV light, which led to an astounding discovery: The pink is real. While ultraviolet fluorescence is common in birds, butterflies and sea creatures, scientists haven’t often observed it in mammals. What the flying squirrels get out of it is still a mystery, but it could mean that squirrels are capable of seeing in ultraviolet wavelengths.

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