Rare Dark Deer Photographed in Texas

09/07/2010

Check out these photos of a very rare kind of deer that were recently taken in Austin, Texas by wildlife photographer Richard Buquoi.  This little guy is an example of melanism, a condition where an individual has darker coloration than the norm.   You can think of it kind of as the opposite of albinism, where an organism lacks color and appears white.

Melanism has been documented in a lot of different species and is typically very rare, although in some species it's a relatively common color phase.  That's not the case with white-tailed deer, however, so these photos are pretty unique and special.  In fact, while albino deer are also really rare, compared to documented cases of melanistic deer they are much more frequently seen, making this melanistic fawn the rarest of them all.  Even this deer's twin has standard coloration!

Black Fawn
Black Fawn 2
Black Fawn 3

Photos used with Richard Buquoi's permission.  Be sure to check out the rest of  his excellent wildlife photography too.


David Mizejewski is a naturalist with the National Wildlife Federation. His goal is to inspire others to appreciate the wonders of nature. Meet David >
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