Tag archives for Scorpions
It would be easier to find animals after dark if they glowed, wouldn’t it? Actually, scorpions found in Saguaro National Park do (at least with special equipment). During last weekend’s BioBlitz in the park, researchers used black lights to count scorpions. Black lights give off ultraviolet light, which reacts with a nitrogenous substance in the scorpion’s cuticles, giving it a green glow. “You go out at night into the Sonoran Desert with one of these UV lights and … these scorpions light up and glow like a little star field on the ground,” says Paul Marek, an entomologist at the University of Arizona.
The 2011 BioBlitz in Saguaro National Park in Arizona was a 24-hour effort to count different species within the park. The count added more than 400 species to the park’s species lists.
Photo courtesy of Paul Marek
Photograph courtesy University of Pennsylvania
What makes animals glow? Some of them, like jellyfishes and scorpions, glow under ultraviolet lights because of naturally occurring proteins or other materials. Other animals, such as monkeys or puppies, glow because scientists have added new proteins into their DNA. The glowing mice in the photo above received DNA with the glowing protein from their father.
Check out the glowing gallery on National Geographic News.