Melanistic morphs?

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repaphin
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Melanistic morphs?

Post by repaphin » August 20th, 2013, 5:48 pm

Since I don't have a good camera yet. And I didn't get a photo. So for now im saying my eyes played tricks on me until I get a photo, :crazyeyes: But I saw a black bobcat. It was tiny! I have seen black Coyotes before at Lake Perris. Has anyone seen anything aberrant in mammals before? Good thing i know where this bobcat hangs out at! I will try to get photos soon.

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Re: Melanistic morphs?

Post by hellihooks » August 21st, 2013, 9:12 am

I thought I saw a black cougar once... but EVERYONE assured me that there has never been a black cougar reported in the U.S. ever... I don't know about black Bobcats. never heard of one. jim

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Re: Melanistic morphs?

Post by VICtort » August 21st, 2013, 1:51 pm

This is an experienced and skeptical group... photo documentation increases credibility. Could it have been a black Manx feral cat? I often hear about black mysterious cats, IF they are out there, a furrier who buys from trappers may know.

I have seen a few albino and piebald mammals over the years, including a black tailed jackrabbit, a Douglas squirrel I saw dozens of times, an albino grey squirrel, and reports from multiple reliable people about 3 or 4 white deer in a herd on the Sacramento River near Woodson Bridge, CA. Considering the cultural influence of white buffalo and deer to Native Americans, these phases likely appeared several times over the years.

Vic

repaphin
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Re: Melanistic morphs?

Post by repaphin » August 21st, 2013, 2:00 pm

It was definitely a bobcat. I never see them either. Maybe because of all the tall brush. I am skeptical as well. I have seen a albino packrat near my house in a bunch of rocks, but that is the only albino i have seen in the wild.

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Re: Melanistic morphs?

Post by hellihooks » August 21st, 2013, 2:38 pm

I almost got a pic of a dunn-colored (tan, with no markings) ring-tailed cat once, but forgot the flash (pic black) and he bailed when the camera clicked.
The Black Cat I saw was bigger than a domestic cat, and I tentatively concluded that it must have been an escaped exotic (Geofferys most likely) from a nearby Exotic Animal Facility. :| but I know what I saw... a BIG black cat. :shock: :D jim

repaphin
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Re: Melanistic morphs?

Post by repaphin » August 21st, 2013, 5:44 pm

I believe you Jim. In Indiana they have wild panthers. I have family that have seen them. I have never seen a ring-tailed cat before.

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herpseeker1978
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Re: Melanistic morphs?

Post by herpseeker1978 » August 22nd, 2013, 5:46 pm

I saw an albino bat

Josh

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mrichardson
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Re: Melanistic morphs?

Post by mrichardson » August 23rd, 2013, 8:13 am

In the UK I have seen melanistic Grey Squirrel, European Rabbit, Fallow Deer and Water Vole. I see no reason why you couldn't get melanistic Bobcats.

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Joshua Jones
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Re: Melanistic morphs?

Post by Joshua Jones » August 23rd, 2013, 8:42 am

I've never seen any wild melanistic mammals, but I've seen albino Mule deer and American bison. I don't know if anyone got photos of the bison (I was just a kid) but Ben Jones and Norman Wall got photos of the mulie. When I first saw it, out of the corner of my eye, I thought it was a white German Shepherd. :lol: She was standing there trying to be cryptic, probably to the dismay of all the normal mulies bedded down around her. We all imagined that the unspoken conversation they were likely to be having must be pretty funny. ("Shut up, guys! If I don't move, they can't see me!") Sadly, we found her again, DOR, a couple weeks later. How someone failed to see her was beyond me. I'm just glad it was a doe, since a buck would probably have been harvested long before we got a chance to see him.

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Re: Melanistic morphs?

Post by hellihooks » August 23rd, 2013, 10:00 am

Joshua Jones wrote:I've never seen any wild melanistic mammals, but I've seen albino Mule deer and American bison. I don't know if anyone got photos of the bison (I was just a kid) but Ben Jones and Norman Wall got photos of the mulie. When I first saw it, out of the corner of my eye, I thought it was a white German Shepherd. :lol: She was standing there trying to be cryptic, probably to the dismay of all the normal mulies bedded down around her. We all imagined that the unspoken conversation they were likely to be having must be pretty funny. ("Shut up, guys! If I don't move, they can't see me!") Sadly, we found her again, DOR, a couple weeks later. How someone failed to see her was beyond me. I'm just glad it was a doe, since a buck would probably have been harvested long before we got a chance to see him.
people hunt mules, where you live? :shock: jim

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Joshua Jones
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Re: Melanistic morphs?

Post by Joshua Jones » August 24th, 2013, 8:47 am

hellihooks wrote:people hunt mules, where you live? :shock: jim
People hunt everything where I lived. :lol:

Mule deer are pretty close to the top of the list.

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Re: Melanistic morphs?

Post by hellihooks » August 24th, 2013, 12:26 pm

Yeah... somehow I missed the 'deer' part... and thinking of all the wild burros I see... not being a hunter...mule deer didn't jump to mind... :roll:
A white deer would be very cool to see. :thumb: jim

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Mike VanValen
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Re: Melanistic morphs?

Post by Mike VanValen » August 25th, 2013, 2:05 pm

The gray squirrels that live on the grounds of the Bronx Zoo are melanistic. I've never seen a normal one there.

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Andy Avram
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Re: Melanistic morphs?

Post by Andy Avram » August 25th, 2013, 6:01 pm

My dad's cousin lives in Avon Park, Florida and in the early 90's they had a melanistic Bobcat running around. I guess it was pretty well documented.

I have seen albino:
Gray Squirrel
Fox Squirrel - these were pie-bald with all white tails
White-tailed Deer - both pie-bald and albino, almost hit the albino

Melanistic:
Gray Squirrel (most in my area are all black)
Woodchuck
Raccoon (DOR)
Opossum (DOR)

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Stohlgren
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Re: Melanistic morphs?

Post by Stohlgren » September 11th, 2013, 4:48 am

Leucistic white tail from Cumberland Island, GA. This female was one of four known from the island at the time. The other three were her male offspring (I did not see them). Aberrancies like this are more common in island populations due to the increased level of inbreeding inherent in small, isolated populations.

Image

Most of the fox squirrels in south GA are gray with black faces or heads, but solid black individuals are relatively common as well. Never managed a photo, though (cant get a decent photo of the regular ones either).

I've seen a melanistic bear, too!
Image

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Re: Melanistic morphs?

Post by BillMcGighan » September 15th, 2013, 12:06 pm

This is one of those testimonials that puts your credibility in the same shallow bucket with cryptobiologists, reality shows, and politicians. Today, even I question my own observation for a more probable answer.

-

In 1971 my wife and I were driving on Loop Rd. in the glades in south FL. The entire road was gravel.
We spent too long enjoying the western side and realized we needed to get back to a paved road and head for home at some higher speed. Home was in Ocala, FL, many hours away.


We were 1/2 way across the loop, heading east, when we picked up speed.

A black cat, significantly larger than a house cat ran across the road in front of us. This was just a flash, but in broad daylight. It had the profile of a Florida panther crossed with an otter.

Gestalt kicked in and I identified it as a Jaguarundi. This seemed a very feasible possibility, since every exotic animal importer in the 40’s, 50s, and 60’s offered them for sale, and I had seen them in some of these folks’ facilities. It wasn’t totally unusual for exotic pet owners to keep them and other mammals like Kinkajous (under the name “honey bear”), Tayras, Tamanduas, monkeys, and even Chimps.

Loop road, back then, had at least two wild life commercial collectors living on it who regularly supplied the large importers/exporters with NA animals. Both my wife and I were about 90% sure that it was a Jaguarundi.


Two years later, rummaging around the library at U of FL, I came across an article that commented on how much these cats look like otters at times. Sanity prevailed and I told my wife I was now about 90% sure that we had seen an otter; case closed.


The story should have ended there.

Two or three years later (’75-’76), I would regularly (about every 2 weeks) go to Ross Allen’s retirement farm, Indian Lake Prairie, to buy chickens. Every now and then, I’d run into Ross and chat. Once, we somehow talked of FL non-natives and he told me Wilfred Neill had not only seen Jaguarundi in central FL, but he had the remains of a DOR.

Now what to believe?

To my knowledge, today, Neill’s DOR is nowhere to be found. FWC doesn’t have any concrete proof that these animals are in wild FL. My “probable, analytical” self tells me it was an otter which is common on Loop Rd, but, even today, when I drive the east end of the road, I keep secretly watching for a black or dark gray cat.

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gopher
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Re: Melanistic morphs?

Post by gopher » September 17th, 2013, 10:24 pm

hellihooks wrote:I thought I saw a black cougar once... but EVERYONE assured me that there has never been a black cougar reported in the U.S. ever... I don't know about black Bobcats. never heard of one. jim
Was this in the Gabes? There have been sightings recently and I am personally trying to find it.

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Re: Melanistic morphs?

Post by hellihooks » September 18th, 2013, 3:06 pm

gopher wrote:
hellihooks wrote:I thought I saw a black cougar once... but EVERYONE assured me that there has never been a black cougar reported in the U.S. ever... I don't know about black Bobcats. never heard of one. jim
Was this in the Gabes? There have been sightings recently and I am personally trying to find it.
Cajon Pass. good luck... :thumb: jim

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Re: Melanistic morphs?

Post by Darkhorse » October 16th, 2013, 9:10 am

Don't be quick to dump your jagarundi sighting Bill. Alabama has a jagarundi conservation group headed by Jimi Stiles. They're around, just elusive.
Chris

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BillMcGighan
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Re: Melanistic morphs?

Post by BillMcGighan » October 16th, 2013, 6:26 pm

Interesting, Chris,

I would certainly believe Jimi if he told me he found one.



This whole conversation has motivated me to look at the plethora non-scientific, anecdotal stories about SE Jaguarundi sightings and, though some sound “chupacabra-ish”, some actually sound like credible outdoor observers!

It at least made me look again at some pics of last year’s cat prints and scat in sand in Levy County, Fl.
Alas, it appears to be Bobcat. I must have interrupted a private moment! It didn’t have time to fully bury it!


Image


Image

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chrish
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Re: Melanistic morphs?

Post by chrish » October 22nd, 2013, 9:29 am

BillMcGighan wrote:Now what to believe?

To my knowledge, today, Neill’s DOR is nowhere to be found. FWC doesn’t have any concrete proof that these animals are in wild FL. My “probable, analytical” self tells me it was an otter which is common on Loop Rd, but, even today, when I drive the east end of the road, I keep secretly watching for a black or dark gray cat.
I thought there were confirmed records of Jaguarundi in Florida which had been traced to escaped/deliberate releases of captive animals.

I wasn't aware of the Alabama story however - http://jagabama.blogspot.com/.

If I ever saw one of these putative introduced or cryptozoology animals, I would certainly be willing to take a specimen if I had a gun with me....which brings up something I've always wondered about. What kind of half-assed hunters are reporting these sasquatch sightings. If I was in the woods with a rifle and saw a sasquatch, the mystery would be resolved once and for all!

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BillMcGighan
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Re: Melanistic morphs?

Post by BillMcGighan » October 25th, 2013, 6:48 am

which brings up something I've always wondered about. What kind of half-assed hunters are reporting these sasquatch sightings. If I was in the woods with a rifle and saw a sasquatch, the mystery would be resolved once and for all!
When I worked in a blue collar job in Florida in the early 70s, a few of my fellow workers were ardent deer hunters. Though I had personally given up hunting, I still supported the take of this prey species, since we (collectively) had already eradicated all the serious predators.

2 or 3 were not only really into this, spending long hours in the woods in all seasons, they were respectful woodsmen who didn’t kill every EDB they saw, appreciated the whole of nature, plants and animals.


Several however went into the woods for one weekend once a year. Along with overpowered, poorly maintained weapons, they were proud that they carried and constantly sipped whiskey for the whole weekend.
Accidents were so regular, that I stopped herping the Ocala National Forest during deer season.


Point of all this is that I doubt if the first group of hunters would ever see a “sasquatch”, and the second group probably saw several! :roll: :roll:

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Re: Melanistic morphs?

Post by NickAsher » December 15th, 2013, 11:10 am

I was in Yellow Wood State Forest in Indiana. As I was walking a trail i see a black fox. I did report it to DNR. They said they had other reports of the same fox. To bad it was to fast for me to get my camera out.

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