Thursday, November 4, 2010

Why the Leopard Got Its Spots

A new study shows why leopards and other big cats are spotted, striped or melanistic — all black. In short, big cats' patterning and pattern attributes evolved in relation to their ecology and behaviors. This is evolution in action: if you stand out by color or texture you get eaten and your species becomes extinct. Blend in and you thrive.

Proc. R. Soc. London Ser. B 10.1098/rspb.2010.1734 (2010).