10

Mutations in Plains Zebra (Equus quagga)

  1. Nicknamed Marble, this zebra has an area of small scrambled stripes on it’s back, giving it a marbled look. [x]
  2. A reconstructed quagga-like animal, it’s legs clean, and it’s rump and belly nearly free of markings. The stripes it does have are fairly narrow for a plains zebra. It’s tail and mane are much lighter, and has a faint brown wash along it’s back.[x]
  3. Two reduced striped animals, the middle with a few stray stripes on it’s rump and legs, the one on the right has a nearly all white body and legs. Both have a fewer number of facial markings as well.[x]
  4. A diluted, brown striped adult zebra. Zebra foals are born brown and white, but this one didn’t seem to lose it’s baby colors. [x]
  5. An erythristic, gingery-brown striped beauty. [x]
  6. Blonde is a term applied to leucistic zebras. Albino is sometimes used for the really light animals, like this blue eyed and creamy tan striped one, however I keep reading that true albinism has not been recorded in equines, so I’m hesitant to use that term.[x]
  7. This abundistic has stripes that thicken and meld together on it’s back and neck, forming white spots.[x]
  8. Dotted and dashed with white on a black background, this heavily abundistic zebra has a very unique and striking look.[x]
  9. The back of this abundistic Burchell’s (E.q. burchellii) is so densely marked, it’s a nearly solid blanket of color ticked with a bit of white. The rest of it’s stripes and brown shadow stripes are jagged and messy.[x
  10. Unfortunately, without the help of the naturally camouflaged striped coat, this extremely dark abundistic foal was an easier target for predators and didn’t make it into adulthood. Still in it’s dark brown baby coat, it probably would look very similar to number 8 but with a darker face, smaller spots, and wider white stripes on it’s rump.[x]

Abundistic zebra foal first photographed April 23rd, 2014.

“We found this little guy in Vumbura. He was born only a few days ago and has a rather amazing dark colour. This is a small genetic abnormality linked to the amount of melanin affecting the pigmentation of the fur. It doesnt occur often, and the last foal born with this was taken by Hyeanas within a few months. Unfortunately if you stand out from the others too much you are a target. We will be monitoring the progress of this guy though and if he makes it to adulthood it will be interesting to observe any potential behavioural interactions. At least at the moment his mum still loves him.”

Photography by Michael Fitt

10

Morphs of Tiger (Panthera tigris)

  1. A snow, normal, golden tabby or strawberry, and white tiger lined up for a good comparison of the range of color. [x]
  2. A wild abundistic or pseudo melanistic tiger, with thicker and denser stripes than average. [x]
  3. A very strange and frankly exciting animal to me, a white abundistic tiger. The narrow stripes become very dense on it’s forehead and back half of it’s body, looking nearly solid in places, especially along it’s back and tail. Here is an article with a picture of this animal when it was a cub. [x]
  4. This beautiful golden tabby has dark orange stripes rather than black ones, and this color morph is associated with a softer coat.
  5. Not as extreme, this female golden tabby does retain dark stripes on her head and legs. Though probably due to the camera quality, she does seem to have a duller tan base color. [x]
  6. At first glance this white tiger appears to simply be dirty, and while it is a little scruffy, the areas with the light tan does look to be in the areas it would be in most “normal” tigers.[x]
  7. A white tiger, with orange remaining between it’s eyes. [x]
  8. This snow white tiger has stripes that are mostly light, the darkest on the head and limbs, the rest faintly visible. [x]
  9. A grumpy snow, it seems to have a bit more color in it’s coat, with pinkish tan stripes and muzzle. Here is the same cat.[x]
  10. Because of the high amount of inbreeding it takes to make white tigers, animals like Kenny are sometimes produced, but rarely displayed. His face is pug nosed, with misshapened teeth. Most don’t appear this extreme, but many do have serious underlying health issues, with cross eyes seeming to be the most common ailment. Reputable zoos or breeding programs interested in conservation will not intentionally produce tigers of any morph, and instead focus on breeding and maintaining subspecies purity. [x]

Part two on subspecies here.

10

Black Cats and voodoo dolls 

Your friendly neighborhood unlucky (or lucky, depending on your culture!) black cat is one of the most commonly seen melanistic animals, and melanism itself has been officially recorded in a large chunk of cat species. It seems to not be something that holds back forest dwelling felids (species and subspecies that live in the desert probably wouldn’t find it useful), and has been linked to slightly stronger immune systems. As it is in so many cats already, I won’t be the least bit surprised if it pops up in other species. I’m not including abundistic animals (apart from the leopard cat, shhh), since it’s not quite the same as the fairly predictable/iconic way felids wear their excess melanin.

  1. Domestic cat (Felis silvestris catus) [x]
  2. Kod kod (Leopardus guigna) [x]
  3. Geoffroy’s cat (Leopardus geoffroyi) [x]
  4. Pampas cat (Leopardus pajeros) [x]
  5. Oncilla (Leopardus tigrinus) [x]
  6. Jaguarundi (Puma yagouaroundi) [x]
  7. Asian golden cat (Pardofelis temminckii) [x]
  8. Leopard cat (Prionailurus bengalensis) [x]
  9. Jungle cat (Felis chaus) [x]
  10. Serval (Leptailurus serval) [x]
  11. Florida bobcat (Lynx rufus floridanus) [x]
  12. Jaguar (Panthera onca) [x]
  13. Jaglion (Panthera onca x Panthera leo) [x]
  14. Leopard  (Panthera pardus) [x]

Have a happy and safe Halloween, keep your pets inside and away from chocolate!

10

Jaguar (Panthera onca)

  1. Your average jaguar, showing off it’s iconic coat. It is very similar to and (understandably) often confused with leopards. The easiest way to ID which species is looking at it’s markings. Jaguars has larger rosettes along it’s side, usually with spots within them.  [x]
  2. This is a vivid, orange colored cat. The general rule is that darker colored individuals are more likely to live in dense jungles, and tend to be smaller. [x]
  3. Two bright golden-tans, one with an dark nose, the other tinged with pink. [x]
  4. This pale tan cat with very pale eyes (so pale, I can’t really tell what color the are) trying to enjoy it’s take-away crocodilian meal is probably more comfortable living in an environment with more open spaces, since the lighter cats make their homes in grassy areas. [x]
  5. A jaguar with very interesting coat. Rather than being pure black against it’s brownish base color, many of it’s markings seem a little faded. It’s rosettes are very clean and thin, with not many spots in the middle. It’s headshot can be seen here. I’m not sure what’s going on, or if it’s anything special, but the overall look seems to be a softer colored animal with reduced markings. Maybe later on I’ll do a post on jaguar rosettes, they can look very different from one another. [x]
  6. This abundistic (pseudo melanistic) cat has rosettes that thicken and merge. The markings along it’s sides seem more like small spots, and the rosettes on it’s thighs are thick and elongated. It seems to become very dense on the top, giving it an almost entirely black back. [x
  7. A melanistic with very noticeable markings showing through, and it’s not simply a trick of the light. This wikipedia page explains it better then I can: “In jaguars, the melanism allele is dominant. Consequently, black jaguars may produce either black or spotted cubs, but a pair of spotted jaguars can only produce spotted cubs. The gene is incompletely dominant: individuals with two copies of the allele are darker (the black background color is more dense) than individuals with just one copy, whose background color may appear to be dark charcoal rather than black”. This cat inherited only one allele, giving it it’s gorgeous intermediately colored coat. [x]
  8. A noticeably darker melanistic, rosettes only faintly visible. This is a jaguar with two black alleles, and what most people think a “black panther” would look like. For my herp loving followers, it’s like the co-dominate Mojave ball python morph. You immediately know it’s different from a normal, and breeding two Mojaves together can make the “super” form. This is the “super” form of a melanistic jaguar, in snake talk. [x]
  9. Two rare white cubs, probably leucistic, were born at a German zoo. The father was normal, the mother melanistic. Both cubs have markings that are extremely diluted, making them grey instead of black. The cub on the left appears to have a little more color, looking creamier and slightly darker marked than it’s sibling, though this may be due to the lighting and angle. [x]
  10. The same pair, but older.The spots around their limbs, head, and back are much darker than the grey rosettes on their sides and tail. Again, the cub on the left  seems to have more color, and the cub on the right gained some on it’s head. If anyone has pictures of these guys that are more recent, I’d be really grateful. [x]
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