Incredible #pictures of giant multi-coloured squirrels set #social media alight!#Photographer Kaushik Vijayan snapped the animals in their native habit. The Malabar Giant #squirrel - double the size of their grey relatives - live deep in the #forests of #India. pic.twitter.com/BLFRZf6VHy— SWNS.com (@SWNS) April 2, 2019
Photographer Kaushik Vijayan snapped beautiful shots of rainbow-colored Malabar giant squirrels in the Pathanamthitta District in Kerala, Southern India.
"I felt so amazed by how drop-dead gorgeous it looked," he told CBS News.
While University of Miami evolutionary biologist Dana Krempels was quoted in National Geographic suggesting that someone may have jacked up the color intensity of the photos, the squirrels do have far-out purple coloring. From Nat Geo:
The squirrel’s purple patterns likely play some sort of role as camouflage. This is because the broadleaf forests these squirrels inhabit create a “mosaic of sun flecks and dark, shaded areas"—not unlike the rodents’ markings, (according to University of Arizona conservation biologist John Koprowski, author of Squirrels of the World.)