Spotted and Piebald Animals.
A lot of wild animal species, like leopards, are naturally spotted--as are domesticated breeds like the appaloosa horse or Dalmatian dog. This hub primarily focuses on unusual spotted animals arising in a normally plain colored species or breed. Those unusual individuals that spring up, and help make life interesting.
Vitiligo can produce white spots on black cats, of both domestic and exotic varieties. These animals are called 'snowflake' cats. A snowflake leopard called Cobweb used to be housed at the Glasgow Zoo (see right).
Vitiligo will also produce white spotting on predominantly black-colored dogs such as dobermans and Rottweilers.
Juvenile Spots Retained
In some rare cases an adult deer will retain its juvenile spots, as in the case of the whitetail buck shown below. Retained juvenile spotting my also sometimes be seen in mountain lions (a.k.a. cougar/puma).
There are persistent but unconfirmed reports of Marozi, or spotted lions. One explanation for the existence of a spotted lion is a mutation leading to adults retaining juvenile markings.
(Conversely some animals like Dalmatian dogs are born without spots and develop them only as they mature)
Other piebald deer pictures:
Several heritage breeds of sheep are spotted, including the Jacob sheep, Miniature Spotted Sheep or Painted Desert Sheeo.
While white moose having been seen on quite a few occasions this is the only example I have found of a piebald moose (2009). This one was photographed in Alaska by Hugh Edwards.
A deer with black spots was reported in India, presumably due to melanism. Mechanistic spotted morphs also occur in mosquito fish.
A spotted sub-species of the western striped skunk lives on several islands in California.
Appaloosa and Other Horse Spots
While many breeds of domesticated horses are spotted it is unusual to see this pattern in the wild. One exception being a small number of Dartmoor (UK) ponies which demonstrate a striking leopard (dark on white) spot.
A spontaneous mutation of this type probably led to the true breeding spotted horse types such as the Appaloosa.
Spotting my be an ancestral trait in horses, as spotted horses are depicted in paleolithic art.
Less regular markings referred to as smuts or bend-or spots are also occasionally seen in horses.
Japanese quail have a color morph that is white with some dark patches, called a panda spot.
The spotting of the famously spotted Dalmatian dogs requires both parents carried mutations on all three of the genetic locations know to cause Piebald, Ticking, and Flecking.
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