Top 5 Most Fascinating Color Mutations in Animals

Lions are brown, and Pandas are black and white. Tigers are orange with black stripes. Elephants are gray. That’s how we picture these animals. Very rarely do we have the opportunity to see a while lion, or brown & white panda, but when we do, we are in awe. Such specimens are extremely rare. Color mutations are unusual in the animal kingdom, and they can completely alter the appearance of an animal (sometimes, specimens go on to form a whole new subspecies). Let’s take a look at the most fascinating color mutations in animals.

Recommended Read: 10 Weird & Cute Animals we Love

1. Melanistic Zebras

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Zebras are horse-like creatures with black and white stripes. On extremely rare occasions, zebras with melanism are born. Sadly, such specimens do not last very long in the wild. Melanistic  Zebras have an unusually black back, due to pronounced black stripes. This means that melanistic zebras are significantly darker than their relatives. Then again, every zebra is different (there are no zebras with the same stripes).

2. Gold-Striped Zebra

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Since we are on the subject of zebras, let’s take a look at another fascinating specimen: the gold-striped zebra. While too much melanin makes zebras look like black lumps, too little melanin will turn the black stripes into golden ones. The most popular gold-striped zebra is Zoe, The Hawaiian Zebra (her stripes are bright orange). Besides her golden stripes, she also has white eyelashes and blue eyes. She suffers from the loss of tyrosinase.

3. White Elephants 

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Although they are called “white elephants”, elephants suffering from albinism aren’t actually white. Their color is more like a pink or reddish-brown. Despite the fact that albinism is a rare mutation, it is more common with Asian and African Elephants. Inhabitants of Burma (also known as Myanmar) & Thailand consider that white elephants are sacred, and should not be exploited for labor. They also believed that seeing a white elephant means that the ruler of the country reigns with justice, and is blessed.

Another interesting thing about white elephants, is the origin of the name. the idiom refers to things with little real value despite their supposed one. According to a story, the kings of Siam would give white elephants to the subjects they wanted to punish (because the elephant couldn’t be used for labor, it was useless).

4. Albino Eastern Gray Kangaroo

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The Eastern Gray Kangaroo is unimaginably white. It looks exactly like a snowflake with red ears and a pink nose. Eastern gray kangaroos (Macropus giganteus) are the largest species of kangaroo (they can reach 210 cm in height). They can also leap more than 8 meters in one jump, and run at 56 km/hour.

Albino kangaroos are extremely rare in the wild. In spite of this fact, one was spotted in the wild by Rohan Thomson, from The Canberra Times, in November, last year. Like most albino animals, white kangaroos also have extremely slim chances of surviving in the wild (they are also susceptible to skin cancer and have bad hearing).

5. White Deer

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The Seneca white deer have fascinated scientists for many years. In 2000, an army depot in Seneca county closed. During this time several white-coated deer got trapped within the walls. At the moment they represent the largest population of mutant creatures inhabiting a single area.

While they do not form a distinct species, the White deer of Seneca represent a subspecies of the brown-coated white tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus). These animals are leucistic (which means that they have no pigment in the hair, but their eyes are brown). A more extreme mutation (albinism) would leave the deer’s eyes pink.

These are the most fascinating color mutations in animals that we have found. Obviously, almost every species of animals has a case of albinism or melatonism. You can check out more albino animals here.

10 Weird Cute Animals We Love

We like weird stuff and we adore animals here at This Blog Rules – by the way, did you even know these animals exist? Brush up on your zoology knowledge, then come back to be entertained, baffled, and amused by the ten cute guys and gals on our list of weird cute animals. There are birds, rodents, foxes, and even a wolf in the gallery below. Check them out and let us know who your favorite is, in the comment section!

10. Pileated Gibbons

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This animal species is native to Thailand, more specifically, Cambodia and Laos. At the moment, there are approximately 32.000 individuals left in the wild. This means that the Union for Conservation of Nature has declared them endangered. Like most gibbons, these cute little fellows are arboreal, and live in monogamous pairs.

9. The Tufted Deer

This deer gets its name from the noticeable tuft of hair on its forehead. Also, the males have fangs! It lives in central China and in the north-east of Myanmar. At the moment it’s being overhunted and it’s losing its habitat.

8. The Patagonian Mara

In terms of weird cute animals, it doesn’t get that much better than the Patagonian Mara, a relatively large rodent, part of the mara family. They also call it Patagonian cavy, Patagonian hare, or dillaby. It kind of looks like a rabbit and it lives in Argentina, including, of cours Patagonia. An interesting thing about this species is that it’s monogamous.

7. The Irrawaddy Dolphin

You can find this item on our list of weird cute animals in the Bay of Bengal, as well as in other parts of Southeast Asia. It swims rather slowly, i.e. at around 20 to 25 km per hour, but can speed up when chased by a boat. Another interesting thing about it is that it competes with other species, as observed in experiments involving the Orcaella and the humpback dolphin.

6. The Mexican Axolotls

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This animal is also known as the Peter Pan of animals. Just look at it, how can this not be considered cute? This type of salamander looks like it is always smiling. It can be found in Mexico’s Lake Xochimilco, and it spends most of its time underwater. Its unusual appearance comes from its ability to regenerate body parts.

5. Amur Leopards

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Leopards are universally considered cute, but the Amur leopard is undoubtedly the most beautiful leopard on the planet. Sadly, this animal, native to southeastern Russia is on the brink of extinction. Only 19 to 26 specimens are left in the wild. The Amur leopard is also known under the name of Manchurian, Far East or Korean leopard.

4. Sand Cats

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Are you familiar with the smallest wild cats on the planet? The sand-cats have the size of domestic cats and they can be found in northern Africa and central Asia. They enjoy arid locations, but their habitats are being threatened. Although this animal species is endangered, four sand cat kittens have just been born in the Zoological Center of Tel Aviv.

3. The Superb Bird of Paradise

With a name like this and such lavish colors, how could we not have included the superb bird of paradise on our list? It lives in the rainforests of New Guinea, it’s relatively small (only 26 cm), and, interestingly enough, there’s a pretty low count of females in the species.

2. The Gobi Jerboa

This rodent lives in China and Mongolia, in the temperate deserts and grasslands of the area. It was discovered in 1925. It’s considered the most desert loving of all Jerboas, but it’s extremely rare. For the moment, only 163 sightings of the Gobi jerboa have been made (in contemporary times). However, the actual number of specimens remains unknown.

1. The Fennec Fox

We couldn’t have topped off our list of weird cute animals with anyone else but the absolutely adorable fennec fox (known simply as the fennec). It’s a nocturnal animal, very small, but with those hilariously huge ears, which they use to fan off the heat. Makes sense, when you consider the fact that it lives in Sahara and northern Africa.

What Animals and Other Things Might Become Extinct in the Near Future

The world changes all the time; sometimes this is for the better and sometimes it’s for the worse. Apart from the animals that are currently listed as critically endangered species, plenty of other things that could disappear from our lives soon. What animals and other things might become extinct in the near future? How would the world look without the following things?

Landline Phones

What Animals and Other Things Might Become Extinct in the Near Future

Do you remember the days when every home had a landline phone? Some of them were even hung up on walls. If you were outside and needed to make a call, you could look for a phone booth. The way in which cell phones have become so commonplace in the world means seeing landline phones is becoming a rare event. They will slowly get phased out even more over the coming years.

Redheads

Animals and Other Things That Might Become Extinct

You don’t tend to think of people as being on the list of things that might become extinct, do you? As a red haired person myself, I worry when I see reports of our imminent demise. Will a giant meteor kill us all off? Perhaps we will fall foul of a deadly disease that attacks our freckles? Part of the answer lies in the fact that recessive genes will make red hair disappear. That theory appears to have been debunked but now there is a new one. We have red hair to help us improve Vitamin D production without much sun exposure. It is now claimed that global warming will kill off the need for redheads all over the world. Why can’t mother nature just leave us alone?

The Cross River Gorilla

Animals and Other Things That Might Become Extinct

I’ve been trying to put off the critically endangered animals list for as long as I can. It really depresses me to think about these things. Look at the beautiful creature in the picture. He might not be a redhead, but he’s still cool. Sadly, it is believed that less than 300 Cross River Gorillas are still around. They live around the border between Nigeria and Cameroon. Hunters and land development mean that they probably won’t be around for too much longer.

Hand Written Postcards and Letters

Animals and Other Things That Might Become Extinct

Ok, onto cheerier stuff for a minute. When was the last time you sent a hand written postcard or letter? Unless I’m very much mistaken it was sometime around “never.” The rise of email, text messages, Skype, Facebook and other types of technology means that sitting down and writing “Dear Fred” or “wish you were here” is no longer popular. Is this a good thing? Personally, I would rather receive a long and interesting letter than a generic Facebook status update. But, I can’t be bothered to write anything these days so I won’t complain too much.

The Sumatran Tiger

Animals and Other Things That Might Become Extinct

Ok, back to the sad and depressing stuff now. The Sumatran Tiger is one of the most beautiful creatures you’ll probably never get to see. It is believed the global population is around 500. Maybe less.

TV Sets with Four Legs

Animals and Other Things That Might Become Extinct

Actually, my aunt still has one of these that I hope to inherit. The future isn’t that bad for them after all.

The Javan Rhinoceros

Animals, Things and Extinction

Hunters and land developers are again the main enemies of this chap. There are none of them alive in zoos across the planet. The population in the wild is believed to number no more than 40.

10 Animals that You Probably Never Knew Existed

There are so many animals on this planet, that scientists can’t even count them.  The estimates fall somewhere between 3 and 30 million species, but even these numbers aren’t certain. Naturally, there are creatures that we have never heard of in our lives. Of course, the list of species also includes cnidarians, sponges, Platyhelminthes, nematodes, and many others, that we are not very interested in. We would, however, love to know more about lesser known vertebrate species of animals. Here are 10 animals that you probably never knew existed:

10. The Dhole

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If a wolf and fox would mate, the result would probably be the Dhole. This canid, native to South & Southeast Asia, is an extremely social animal. The Dholes live, and hunt in packs, exactly like wolves. They will occasionally split up, in smaller groups, to hunt their favorite prey: the medium-sized ungulates. The Dhole hunts by tiring its prey in long chases, and then disembowels it. Although they are considered timid animals, the Dholes are known to attack large animals such as wild boars, water buffalos, and even tigers.

9. The Okapi

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Here’s a strange animal that you have probably never heard of: the Okapi. In spite of its zebra-like stripes, it is more closely related to giraffes. Appearance-wise it has a head similar to that of a hyena, legs of a giraffe and stripes of a zebra. The animal is native to the Democratic Republic of Congo.

8. The Blue Parrotfish

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This bright blue fish can be found in the Atlantic Ocean (assuming that you can distinguish it through the waves). If you ignore its derp-like face you can actually say it’s beautiful, especially thanks to its bright colors). The Blue Parrotfish spends 80% of its time searching for food.

7. The Fossa

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The Fossa is the largest cat-like mammalian carnivore on the Madagascar Island. Size-wise it is comparable to the cougar. It has all the qualities of a feline: semi-retractable claws, flexible ankles and an uncanny ability to climb on trees head-first.

6. The Gerenuk

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This animal is also known as the Waller’s gazelle, and it has a very unusual appearance: a long-neck that helps it eat dry horn brush scrubs easier. Gerenuk actually means giraffe-necked in the Somali language. This gazelle species has a small head with large ears and eyes. Its main advantage over other grass-eating mammals on the Savannah is its ability to stand erect on its rear legs and stretching its neck to reach trees and prickly bushes.

5. The Maned Wolf

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This wolf is the largest of its kind in South America. Like the Dhole, it is surprisingly similar to a fox (due to its reddish fur). This animal enjoys grasslands, bushes and the trees of South America. Its long legs are most likely an adaptation to the tall grasslands of its habitat.

4. The Bush Viper

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The Bush Viper is a carnivore predator which inhabits the tropical forests of Africa. It usually hunts at night. It has beautiful lemon and dark-blue colored scales.

3. Glaucus Atlanticus

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This little guy is also known as the blue dragon, and it is a species of blue sea slug. It prefers floating on the surface of oceanic waters because of its gas-filled sack in the stomach.

2. Hummingbird Hawk-Moth

Next time you think you’ve seen a Hummingbird make sure it’s the real deal. The Hummingbird Hawk-moth looks extremely similar to the hummingbird, it makes similar sounds and it also feeds on flowers.

1. Sunda Colugo

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Number one on our list of animals that you probably never knew existed is the Sunda Colugo. This cute little fellow is also known under the name of The Sunda Flying Lemur (it doesn’t actually fly). It does, however, make giant leaps between trees. It is active only at night, and feeds on soft plant parts like fruit, flowers and leaves. It can be found in Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia and other places in Southeast Asia.

The Strangest Pet Accessories You Can Actually Buy

What do you buy the pampered pet that has everything? I promise you this question isn’t really as pointless as it seems. There are plenty of strange pet accessories to choose from when you want to add a bit of spice to the little chap’s life.

The Cat Unicorn Hat

The Strangest Pet Accessories

Do you know those idle moments when you look at your cat and wish he was a unicorn? You know you do. Well, now your dreams of having a feline friend with a single horn can come bizarrely true. This inflatable unicorn horn for cats is possibly the most useless thing I have ever seen. Cats love it, though, according to the box.

The Pet Sauna

Strangest Pet Accessories

Do you often feel a bit guilty when you go for a sauna session and leave your slobbering mutt at home? Well, you could take the old boy in there with you. But, that seems awfully unhygienic. Instead, you can buy him his own personal sauna. Now everyone is happy.

Dog Beer

Strangest Pet Accessories

Beer for dogs really exists. What’s even more puzzling than the mere existence of this stuff is the fact that there appear to be two different flavours; I guess this is for the discerning pooch. What next; whisky for cats? Gin for bunnies?

The Pet Camera

Strangest Pet Accessories

What could be more utterly boring than sitting and watching a video of what your pet does when you’re not around? You already know what he does, anyway. He licks his private parts. He goes to sleep. Now you can use this pet camera to capture all of this riveting action and then sit back and watch it at your leisure. Don’t forget to stock up on the popcorn.

The Goldfish Walker

Strangest Pet Accessories

Isn’t it such a shame when you go out for a walk and need to leave your beloved pet fish at home all alone? Err, not really. He’s only a blooming fish, after all. Well, some enterprising person invented a strange pet accessory called a goldfish walker. It is as silly and pointless as it sounds, in case you were wondering.

The Cat Translation Device

Strangest Pet Accessories

Ever wondered what your cat is trying to tell you? Of course you bloody well haven’t. He’s a cat and he’s not trying to tell you anything. That didn’t stop someone from inventing a cat translation device so you can try to understand what your kitty is saying.

The Pet Wardrobe

Strangest Pet Accessories

This is another of the strangest pet accessories you can really buy right now. This wardrobe is perfect for storing your dog’s clothes and stuff in. I don’t know about you but I’m fed up sharing my wardrobe space with the little hairy fellow. Now he can hang up his jackets and put away his collars in his very own little piece of furniture.

The Cat Wheel

Strangest Pet Accessories

If you want your cat to stay fit and full of fun then the answer is simple; get him a wheel. This giant wheel is big, it’s cumbersome and it will completely dominate whichever room you put it in. Never mind, the cat will love it. If he doesn’t then you can always use it for making moonshine.