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Black And Blue Tigers

Black Tigers are, like White Tigers, not a unique subspecies. Rather, they are Bengal Tigers with what is known as pseudo-melanism. Pure melanism refers to a large amount of black pigmentation of the hair / fur / feathers, eyes, and so on. This gives the animal a completely black appearance and is the opposite of albinism. However, this is not the case in either Black or Blue Tigers, which is why the term “pseudo” is used to describe their colouring.

The Blue Tigers that have been discovered are usually from the South China Tiger subspecies. While Black Tigers are still spotted on very rare occasions today, the Blue Tiger is believed to be completely extinct, although there may be a wild specimen hiding in the security of the Chinese mountains or forests, far from human interference.

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Image of a close up of a tigers face
Close up of a black tigers face

Black Tigers are, like White Tigers, not a unique subspecies. Rather, they are Bengal Tigers with what is known as pseudo-melanism. Pure melanism refers to a large amount of black pigmentation of the hair / fur / feathers, eyes, and so on. This gives the animal a completely black appearance and is the opposite of albinism. However, this is not the case in either Black or Blue Tigers, which is why the term “pseudo” is used to describe their colouring.

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Image of green bar

Black Tigers have a black (or very dark grey) base coat with light tan or grey stripes. Blue Tigers (also known as Maltese Tigers) have a blue-grey base coat with charcoal stripes. Both of these variations are extremely rare and are believed by some to be due to inbreeding (which causes the weakening of healthy genetics). They are usually smaller than their common-coloured peers.

Because of how uncommon these colour variations are, they were long thought to be myths, and scientists scoffed at the idea of these ‘strange’ animals roaming the wild.

However, after having established that they exist, scientists have researched them as far as they are able, considering how very rare they are.

Still, they are not of too much scientific value, since they are simply a colour variation; not a distinct subspecies with different biological characteristics.

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Image of green bar

There remain a number of theories regarding where in the world Black Tigers can be found and in what sort of numbers. Some countries have claimed to be home to them, but they have turned out to be large black leopards, for example.

Whether or not these variations on colouring continue to exist depends only on the mysteries of gene mutations but humans have the responsibility to protect all of our animal species.

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