Tadpole's Outdoor Blog

May 17, 2013

Yes, it’s a black fawn.

Filed under: Fishing & Hunting — Freddie Keel @ 6:09 am
Tags: , ,

The pictures below were taken by nature photographer Richard Buquoi.

He took the pictures in May and July, 2010, near Austin, TX, where he believes there is a concentration of black “white-tailed” deer, although they are extremely rare. The deer were roaming through a neighborhood. The two fawns in the photos are twins, even though only one is black.

A very unusual genetic color variation in the white-tailed deer — rarer even than albinism — produces the all-black offspring. These animals are known as “melanistic deer”.

In North America, these rare and beautiful creatures were named “melanistic deer”  because their bodies produce far too much of the hair, skin and retina pigment known as melanin. Only a token number of cases of melanism have been documented. The Denver Channel reported on the birth of a black fawn in 2005 on Colorado’s Western Slope.

Only a few research biologists ever have observed one in the flesh.

Researchers admit that they aren’t sure, but that the mutation likely offers a survival advantage, so it is not endangered of extinction.

Melanistic deer are concentrated along the Central Texas region’s drainages, where cover is thick and a dark-colored prey animal would have an edge in avoiding detection.

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