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Why has the panther dimmed its lights?

 

servelnorm

Leptailurus serval normal morph photo © Lee Berger

leopardnormal

Panthera pardus normal morph photo © Lee Berger

 
Most species of wild wild cats – which typically have inconspicuous colouration allowing them to hide from prey and predators – retain certain highlights which can be used for signalling in the open by day. Because the ears and tail can easily be lowered out of sight when the animal hides, it is surprising that the extremely melanistic morphs occurring in several species always lack any bold white markings on the back-of-ear or tail-tip. After all, the retention of the option to accentuate the movements of ears or tail for selective self-advertisement by day would not necessarily have compromised the overall inconspicuousness of the dark-pigmented coat by night.
 
Robin and the Honey Badger, 8 January 2017
 

                          

i.e. more intensely pigmented than the normal colour-morp
Last modified on 21 January 2017

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