Why Is There No Such Thing Melanism In Humans Where The Opposite Is Albinism

Why Is There No Such Thing Melanism In Humans Where The Opposite Is Albinism – Bagheera, the wise panther from Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book, is perhaps the most famous black animal in history. Its coat is described as “black ink all over” and “like wet silk” because of its subtle, dark spots, visible only when the sun hits it from the right angle. Bagheera is actually the Indian black panther (Panthera pardus fusca). The word “panther” is actually a generic term used to describe mountain lions (Puma concolor), a type of American species. In Kipling’s masterpiece, the wise Bagheera teaches the bear cub Mowgli the ways of the jungle.

Indeed, black, or melanistic, tigers are common in the forests of India. As many people know, tigers have golden color and black flowers. Melanistic specimens are completely dark, but their spots are visible in bright light. And tigers are the only animals with a striking black color. Melanism, an abnormally high amount of melanin that causes dark fur, feathers or scales, is very common in animals. The word comes from the Greek word melanos, which means black. It is considered a polymorphic species; that is to say what is visible in some parts of the body, but not in all of them.

Why Is There No Such Thing Melanism In Humans Where The Opposite Is Albinism

Melanism has been very useful in genetic studies because of the clear nature of this trait. Melanistic animals often look different from their colored siblings and are easy to distinguish. Genes that contribute to the melanin phenotype can be dominant or dominant. By comparing them to the genes of animals that are often of different species, it was easy to isolate the melanin genes.

Suggestion Melanistic Colour Variations.

One of the best known examples of melanism is found in the pepper moth (Biston betularia) of England. The story of the moth and the rise of the melanistic trait is a classic evolutionary metaphor. After the French Revolution, pepper butterflies, which as their name implies, are generally white and black, became black, especially in urban areas. Due to the extensive use of coal and other dead matter, thick soot covered many areas of cities such as London, including tree trunks where certain types of moths rested during the day.

Because their colors changed to match the natural appearance of the bark, instead of the black and charcoal spots that were common due to air pollution, the colorful butterflies were easy to spot. birds of prey. Melanistic butterflies, unknown for similar reasons before the industrial revolution, quickly became the dominant phenotype. Genetic analysis has shown that the species reached its peak in 1819, which coincides directly with the beginning of the Great Smoke. Therefore, a difficult change became the conservation of animal species through environmental change.

Other organisms have used melanism in a similar way. This change can happen quickly. A 2011 study showed that melanistic pygmy locusts (Tetrix subulata) were common in areas that had burned the previous year, leaving a dark area. This beautiful trick is known as “fire melanism.”

A similar phenomenon is seen in pocket mice (Chaetodipus intermedius) that live in areas of volcanic flows, which are much darker than their habitat. In some cases, melanism has led to confused examples with different species, as in the case of the gray part (Perdix perdix), which is very dark in areas with a dark part of peat. In fact, it was simply an evolutionary polymorphism within species.

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A study conducted in 2017 by Labex Corail and the University of New Caledonia showed that sea snakes (Emydocephalus annulatus) present in polluted waters of New Caledonia were often absent. Surprisingly, this change doesn’t seem to be a hindrance to begin with. In fact, it seems that melanistic snakes are able to inject venom into their skin, which enables them to release the accumulated venom when they shed. This was confirmed by the high levels of impurities found in the skin of melanistic individuals.

A 2008 study of sea kraits, another type of sea snake, however, found no apparent benefit from melanism. Sometimes melanism in animals as diverse as black night crabs and white-tailed deer appears to be genetic rather than the result of specific evolutionary pressure.

Among the most studied animals is the Bagheera group, of the Felidae. Of the 37 species of cats, both large and small, 13 are known to exhibit melanism. The melanistic mutation appears to have occurred five times in this family. The most common mutation that causes melanism in cats is the loss of function of the ASIP gene, which differentiates agouti, and the acquisition of the MC1R gene, which is involved in melanin production. In most cases, a specific goal of change has been identified.

In tigers, melanism falls into five groups and is most common in Southeast Asia. This appears to be due to the camouflage provided by the black cloak in the dense forests of the area. In fact, a 2010 study showed that most of the tigers in Peninsular Malaysia are melanistic. Although melanism is present in tigers in Africa and elsewhere, it is not useful in open areas and is rare. For this reason, black Amur tigers, native to Russia and China, are not used in zoos for reintroduction. Similarly, the melanistic jaguar (Panthera onca) is not as common in open areas as in dense forests.

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Mutant effects are also seen in small South American cats such as the kokod (L eopardus guigna), pampas cat (L. colocolo), and Geoffroy’s cat (L. geoffroyi). Another South American cat, the oncilla (L. tigrinus), was shown to have different patterns depending on whether it is melanistic or not. Melanistic specimens prefer to hunt during bright nights, while melanistic specimens prefer dark conditions, possibly because their clothing is less visible to potential prey.

Wolves from North America and Europe have also been shown to have diagnostic values ​​associated with melanism. Melanistic wolves are believed to have originated from interbreeding with domestic dogs. Like cats, melanistic wolves are more common in heavily forested areas.

Much remains to be learned about the functions of melanism and its associated changes. One study showed that melanistic barn owls (Tyto alba) had different sleep times and were more alert than their normal counterparts. And it is said that melanism can be harmful in another way, because it blocks sunlight from the skin, reducing the production of vitamin D.

One thing is certain: like Bagheera, these shadowy creatures “are not man’s toys,” persisting regardless, perhaps because of the wild and violent pressures of natural selection.

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In the United States, more than 50% of all dog owners do not vaccinate their pets, putting the public at risk. Although it may seem like it is “normal” to see a black animal in some parts of the world, this big cat is an example of a tiger. or a leopard with an abnormal development of black color called melanism.

The word “melanism” comes from the Greek word “melanos”, which means “black”. As he said, a cat, or any animal, that has this unique variation in its genes will be completely black. There is also pseudomelanism (also known as abundism), which is a similar genetic condition that manifests itself as dark spots or stripes that cover most of the animal’s body and make it appear black (melanistic). . Consider this different from albino, which many people are familiar with and which also occurs in humans.

High genetic variation associated with melanism is considered positive, meaning that it is better for the melanistic animal to survive. Think of Black Panther hunting in the dark and you get it!! A scary thought if you’re walking in the woods at night!! Haha.

In fact, the strange thing about Black Panther, especially after the movie was released, is that many people mistakenly thought it was its own genre. As mentioned in this article, this big cat is a type of Jaguar or Leopard and sometimes its spots are gradually visible, although it is difficult to see them with dark skin and hair. These genes are found in almost all types of cats and can be found in mountain lions (Puma or Cougar), but there have been no reports of such a beast in North America until now.

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Stay tuned for my future articles about other examples of raccoons found in our wonderful world, and a few that include albinism. The title was changed on February 13 to clarify that this is the first scientifically reported occurrence since 1909.

They say black cats bring bad luck,

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