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The 1986 Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant catastrophe resulted in the biggest discharge of radioactive material into the environment in human history.

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The consequences of acute radiation exposure were devastating for the ecosystem and the human population.

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 However, more than three decades after the disaster, Chernobyl has become one of Europe's greatest nature reserves. Today, it is home to a broad assortment of endangered animals.

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Radiation may harm the genetic material of living creatures and cause undesired mutations.

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However, one of the more intriguing Chernobyl research subjects is determining if certain species are genuinely adapting to living with radiation.

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Radiation, like other contaminants, might be a significant selecting force, favoring species with mechanisms that promote their survival in radioactively polluted places.

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Our work at Chernobyl began in 2016. We discovered some Eastern tree frogs (Hyla orientalis) with an unique black colour near the damaged nuclear reactor that year.

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The dorsal colour of the species is typically brilliant green, with the exception of a few darker specimens.