Black Canada Lynx caught on camera for the first time

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  • Post last modified:February 29, 2024
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The first picture of a black Canada Lynx

The Canada Lynx, which is also called Lynx canadensis, is a type of lynx that lives in North America, in parts of the United States and Canada.

The fur of a Canada Lynx is usually a light brownish-gray colour, but black-furred individuals have been seen.

Low resolution still images of a melanistic Canada lynx (Lynx canadensis) taken from a 30-s video from Yukon, Canada. Source video courtesy of J. Stuckey. Credit: Mammalia (2022). DOI: 10.1515/mammalia-2022-0025

No one had ever taken a picture of black type on camera before 2022, when a lucky person did so and the pictures went viral around the world.

Someone from the University of Alberta in Canada caught the cat. Thomas Jung, who works for the Yukon Government, took a video of the cat on his cell phone.

The find was written about in the journal Mammalia in a paper called “Paint it black: first record of melanism in Canada lynx (Lynx canadensis).”

People in a country area close to the Yukon town of Whitehorse caught the video. You can see the lynx in the film from about 50 metres away. It’s not bothering anything. There were people and a dog nearby, and when the dog barked, the lynx slowly moved away.The Canada Lynx is a shy and solitary animal that hides its presence.

The animal experts said it was a Canada lynx, but they couldn’t tell away from other animals in the video because it was so fuzzy.

Jung says, “It had a black coat with whitish grey guard hairs all over it, as well as whitish grey hairs on the face ruff, the rostrum, and the dorsal region.”

The colours of most lynx types are pretty much the same. In the winter, Canada lynx often have silvery grey coats. During the summer, their fur often turns a shade of brown.

Because of this, the lynx in the movie is a very rare animal because its coat has different colours.

Jung says that these kinds of differences are often adaptations that can help development (be adaptive) or hurt it (be maladaptive).

Scientists are still trying to figure out whether melanin in any species is a good or bad thing. Jung, on the other hand, thinks that the lynx’s trait makes it impossible for it to hide, so it is not useful. If it were hunting in the winter, the animal’s darker hair would probably help it stand out in the snow.

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