Nature’s caprices – melanism and leucism - News - Gondwana Collection

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Nature’s caprices – melanism and leucism

Avatar of inke inke - 14. May 2019 - Environment

It is not uncommon to see a black Gabar Goshawk. According to experts it is mostly the females of this species that do not have the usual grey-white plumage.

Dirk Heinrich

Nature has its whims... Every now and then you see a black Gabar Goshawk, but you will rarely spot a white Red-faced Mousebird. Up to 25 percent of Gabar Goshawks are black – i.e. melanistic. Why? Scientists do not know and more research has to be done. A Red-faced Mousebird with pure white plumage, however, is hardly ever seen. White, i.e. leucistic individuals in the various species of birds are very seldom.

Just as rare are pure black or pure white mammals. A number of semi-melanistic Burchell’s zebras have been seen in Etosha National Park. They are not completely black but have a few white stripes and spots. 

For more details on leucism and melanism please have a look on Namibia Outdoor

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