Erythristic Badgers

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Erythristic Badgers

Postby bankst on Tue May 08, 2018 6:01 pm

Erythristic Badgers:

Well, I've learnt a new word today: 'Erythristic' (an unusuaI reddish pigmentation of an animal's fur, hair, skin, feathers, or eggshells) - thanks to Anno for the word and Wikipedia for the definition.

Sadly, the reason for my enlightenment is shown in the attached photo, one of three road-killed badgers I encountered whilst out and about in Cheshire yesterday, but this one differed from the others in showing strong erythristic coloration. Anno tells me he used to watch a sett at Utkinton which was populated entirely by erythristic badgers and this one wasn't too far away from there at Clotton.

So here's a question: is erythrism a genetic mutation and is this individual genetically connected to the Utkinton colony, or is the coloration merely an environmental consequence of inhabiting the red sandstone soils prevalent in this part of the county ?

Tom.

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Erythristic Badger
bankst
 
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Re: Erythristic Badgers

Postby anno on Wed May 09, 2018 9:08 am

Sorry Tom, you should have asked, an erythristic badger just lacks black pigment in its fur through a genetic mutation. Their distribution in Britain is patchy but not uncommon in Cheshire, and looking at the distances covered by the average Brock its very possible that the recessive gene has been passed on.

Incidentally it isn't only Badgers, there are erythristic Lions :shock:

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