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Two small leopard born at the National Zoo research center

Two Small Leopard Born At The National Zoo Research Center

Variant coloration
A melanistic morph of the leopard occurs, particularly in mountainous areas and rain forests. The black color is heritable and caused by recessive gene loci. (While they are commonly called black panthers, the term is not exclusive to leopards; it also applies to melanistic jaguars.)
Melanistic leopards are particularly common on the Malayan Peninsula: early reports suggested up to half of all leopards there are black, but a 2007 camera-trap study in Taman Negara National Park found that all specimens were melanistic. Although the benefits of melanism are difficult to interpret, it may serve as camouflage in the rainforest habitat. Genetic research has found four independent origins for melanism in cats, suggesting there may be an adaptive advantage. Another possibility is that the color variation is a relic adaptation to an epidemic; genes causing melanism can also affect the immune system.

File information
Filename:128818.jpg
Album name:Fauna & Flora
Rating (1 votes):55555
Keywords:#two #small #leopard #born #national #zoo #research #center
Filesize:83 KiB
Date added:Mar 30, 2009
Dimensions:450 x 623 pixels
Displayed:13 times
URL:displayimage.php?pid=128818
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