Sunday, July 26, 2009

First record of a Spotted deer with no spots

From the Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary in India's Sungam hills comes this item from an Indian newspaper. The spotted deer or cheetal is a common species, but it has always been, as the name describes, reddish with shite spots. Wildlife officials have confirmed the existence of a solid black cheetal. As far as those officials know, this is the first known instance of melanism in this species. (It's not, as the journalist described it, a "new species," although there is speculation it is a hybrid: still, it is interesting to see this phenomenon in a species where it has heretofore not been reported.)

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