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Still Waters

Rare phenotype in isolated tiger population explains dark wide stripes

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Still Waters

Nearly a half-century ago, people living in the Mayurbhanj district of Odisha began reporting sightings of tigers with unusual stripes—they were wide and converged, making some of the tigers appear so dark that locals began referring to them as "black tigers." Notably, the tigers were living on a reserve where they were protected, but also prevented from breeding with tigers outside of the reserve.

Over time, operators of the reserve became worried that the tigers, which have been labeled as pseudomelanistic, were examples of genetic drift, in which the frequency of a recessive gene becomes more common in a population as the group becomes more inbred. In this new effort, the researchers sought to learn more about the pseudomelanistic tigers by conducting a genetic analysis and comparing the results with tigers in other groups.



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Sooner or later they'll turn into tigers with no stripes... 


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