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Pink squirrels? Flying squirrels in NC capable of ‘glowing pink,’ experts say

Many of North Carolina’s large flying squirrels can glow pink under ultraviolet light, say biologists. NC Candid Critters/VMNH Paleontology Lab
Many of North Carolina’s large flying squirrels can glow pink under ultraviolet light, say biologists. NC Candid Critters/VMNH Paleontology Lab

Bigfoot is apparently not the craziest thing you might find in North Carolina’s backwoods.

On Wednesday, a state project revealed an odd fact about flying squirrels in North Carolina.

“Just another boring rodent, right?” said a post on the NC Candid Critters Facebook page. “Not unless you think that glowing pink is boring!”

“All species of flying squirrel in North American have been found to fluoresce pink under ultraviolet light.”

Candid Critters page posted an example showing one squirrel’s belly glowing pink under ultraviolet light.

Details of the condition were released on a Facebook site devoted to a camera trap initiative spread across the state’s heavily forested areas.

By teaming up with local citizens statewide, the 'North Carolina Candid Critters' wildlife survey continues to increase scientists’ knowledge of mammal distribution in the state as the largest-ever camera-trap study of its kind.



The program has also become known for posting surprising images of invasive species, and a few creatures caught in the dark that couldn’t easily be identified.

Candid Critters’ mission is to uncover little known details about the distribution of mammals in the state. Partners include NC State University, NC Museum of Natural Sciences, NC Wildlife Resources Commission.

The black and white images, taken in Hyde County, North Carolina show the black bears rolling in a jumble of black fur with teeth bared and claws swinging. The images have been pieced together to create a 14-second clip of the height of the battle

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Mark Price has been a reporter for The Charlotte Observer since 1991, covering beats including schools, crime, immigration, the LGBTQ issues, homelessness and nonprofits. He graduated from the University of Memphis with majors in journalism and art history, and a minor in geology.


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