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Monday, April 20, 2015

HAVE YOU EVER SEEN A BLACK FLAMINGO?

There is a wide range of colors among living creatures.  Here are two shots of a mantis shrimp:


A remarkable animal, it can detect 100,000 colors and remains monogamous with the same partner for decades.  Frogs, in particular, can be psychedelic:


It is reported that one of the rarest lobster color of all, perhaps one in 30 million, is yellow:


However, I wonder how true this can be, for there was a 1 in 30 million yellow and black spotted (left) lobster and another more orangish one identified as yellow (right), both caught off Connecticut's shore over the past two years.  Adding further controversy, these two ONE IN A HUNDRED MILLION albino lobsters, and, now almost common yellow one, were all caught  last year in a five day period off Maine:


Hardly as exciting, but Meghan, herself, of Miss Meghan's Lobster Catch company in Maine, last year caught this one in two million blue lobster:


She formed this company three years ago when she was 12.  Mind you, I don't believe those numbers above, for when I was secretary of the Natural Laboratory of Hawaii Board decades ago, I saw numerous blue lobsters from Maine in our tanks.  They can be hybridized.

Ho hum, but here is a Rainbow Lorikeet:


Two years ago a black flamingo was photographed in Israel.


Then, last week, a black flamingo on Cyprus:


What's the big deal about a black flamingo, and aren't they supposed to be pink or orange anyway?  The color in these flamingos to the left comes from their diet.  These two black birds above, however, might be the only ones ever, and the rarity is so extreme that it is speculated these must be the same bird.

Albinos have a genetic condition that removes pigments.  The black plumage above comes from just the opposite:  melanism causes excessive melanin pigmentation.  Here is a melanistic Royal Bengal Tiger from Simlipal National Park in  India.


Finally, in addition to albinism and melanism is leucism, a condition caused by a reduction in multiple types of pigment.  Here is a leucistic American alligator from the Houston Zoo:


There is no black lion.  Snopes and ShukerNature report of popular enhanced entries:


Well, anyway, there is so much photoshopping on the world wide web that the only unusual colors I tend to believe are those now residing in zoos and animal preserves.

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Our 15 Craigside Monday night table featured Mai Tais and Pina Coladas:


Two dark rums, two light rums, and bottles of red and white wine, with Dexter and Emily in the background.  Maguro sashimi and salmon caviar on chikuwa to start.  The main dish was Okinawa shoyu pork with simmered daikon.  Here Gene, 15C VP, donates to our table a creme something or another for our dessert drink:


Dessert was lemon merengue pie ala mode.  Note the after dinner creme liqueur bottle is nearly empty.

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