Archive for December 16th, 2012

December 16, 2012

Piebald!

Piebald deer (buck without antlers)

If you live in the U.S., you’re probably familiar with white-tailed deer. Most of them are, y’know, brown.

Every now and then you’ll find an albino deer, which is all white with pink eyes.

And sometimes, you’ll find a deer that doesn’t quite fit into either category. These spotty brown-and-white deer are PIEBALDS.

Like albinism, piebald is a rare genetic thing: less than 1% of the deer population is piebald. It’s frequently associated with other weird physical stuff, like a bowed (“Roman”) nose, short or deformed legs, a curved spine, short lower mandible (overbite), and internal organ deformities.

This piebald buck— either a young button buck or a buck who’d recently shed his antlers, but I’m not familiar enough with deer to make an educated assertion— seemed pretty physically normal to my inexpert eyes… except that he was out at the wrong time of day, and totally unafraid of people.

Source:
Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries. (2012). “Deer: Frequently asked questions.” http://www.dgif.virginia.gov/wildlife/deer/faq.asp#piebald-deer.

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