Melanism is the excessive development of dark-colored pigment within the skin or its appendages. Melanism is the opposite of Albinism.
The word ‘Melanism’ is attained from a Greek word meaning black pigment. Another unusual type of pigmentation Pseudo-melanism, also called Abundism, is, typified by enlarged stripes or dark spots, which cover a large part of the body of the animal making it appear Melanistic.
Melanism related to the process of adaptation is called adaptive. Frequently, darker animals are better fitted to survive and reproduce in their natural habitat because they are better camouflaged! Thus, some species are less visible to predators while certain animals such as black panthers (Black Jaguars, Leopards, etc.) use it as a hunting advantage during the night.
Normally adaptive Melanism is genetic: A dominant gene, which is entirely or nearly entirely articulated in the phenotype is responsible for the tremendous quantity of Melanin. Adaptive melanism occurs in a vast diversity of species, with coral snakes, mammals such squirrels and many felines and canids.
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Difference between normal colored Jaguar and Melanistic Jaguar
A Black Wolf is a melanistic color variant of the Grey Wolf (Canis lupus)
Every once in a while you will see an Albino deer. It's rare, but they do exist. But, even more rare than that, I mean extremely rare, is the Melanistic, or black deer.
King Penguins are notorious for their prim, tuxedoed appearance--but a recently discovered all-black penguin seems unafraid to defy convention. In what has been described as a "one in a zillion kind of mutation," biologists say that the animal has lost control of its pigmentation, an occurrence that is extremely rare.
They are extremely rare!
The black squirrel is a melanistic subgroup of the eastern gray squirrel.