By: Jodi Westrick
Toss your superstitions aside. It turns out that being a black cat or dog (or other animals) is actually incredibly lucky since it helps these animals live longer, new research shows.
Discovery News reports that the dark or black coloration in these animals stems from melanism, "or development of the dark-colored pigment melanin in the skin and its appendages (fur, hair, eyelashes, etc.)." However, it's still a mystery as to how or why melanism leads to better health.
"We don't know for certain," Gregory Barsh of the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology, co-author of the study that appeared in PLOS Genetics told Discovery News. "Factors such as foliage, humidity, temperature, and/or infectious agents are all possibilities, and could affect camouflage, resistance to heat or thermoregulation, or resistance to infections."
The dark-peppered moth is a great example of melanism working to help a species. The moth's coloring helps camouflage it from prey since it can blend in better with its surroundings.
For even more information on this story, we encourage you to visit the full article on Discovery News!
Learn more about black-furred dog and cat breeds in the videos below: