Puffin Beaks Are Flourescent

There was an accidental discovery made about the beaks of Puffins. It turns out that under a fluorescent light, they glow! The colourful bird beaks have been one of the creatures more attractive features; developed over generations of breeding.


So far the only birds studied and found to have this property have been deceased because shining a UV light on a living bird would be distressing to the animal as birds can see such light while humans cannot without aid.


Image from Jamie Dunning


However, the researchers involved have come up with a solution to this problem; sunglasses! They have even had a little fun with the idea and made some that are styled after aviators. They hope to study the phenomenon in living Puffins as they are brought in to be tagged for tracking.


Image from Jamie Dunning


English ornithologist, Jamie Dunning, hopes to publish a paper about puffin fluorescence with colleagues at the University of New Brunswick, and expects more research will follow.


Images from Jamie Dunning submitted to CBC.

Story from CBC.

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