A Rare Discovery: The First Black Canada Lynx Photographed

For the first time ever, a black Canada Lynx has been captured on camera! This extraordinary feline, a species native to North America, including Canada and parts of the United States, is usually known for its light brownish-gray fur coat. However, there have been occasional reports of individuals with black fur. Until now, no photographic evidence of this black-colored type existed. But in 2022, an incredible stroke of luck allowed someone to capture images of this elusive and stunning lynx, which quickly became an internet sensation.

The Canada Lynx in question was spotted by a Canadian researcher from the University of Alberta. It was none other than Thomas Jung, an employee of the Yukon government, who managed to record a video of this rare creature on his phone. The footage was taken in a quaint rural residential neighborhood near Whitehorse, a bustling metropolis in the Yukon. In the video, the lynx can be seen relaxing at a distance of approximately 50 meters, unperturbed by the presence of people and a dog nearby. This graceful predator, known for its solitary and reclusive nature, eventually scampered away as the dog began to bark.

The discovery of this black Canada Lynx, scientifically described in an article titled “Paint it black: The first record of melanism in Canada lynx (Lynx canadensis)” published in Mammalia, adds an exciting chapter to our understanding of this remarkable species. While the shaky video footage made it difficult for lynx experts to discern specific distinguishing features, Jung shared valuable insights about the lynx’s appearance: “It had a black coat with whitish gray hairs all over, including the facial ruff, rostrum, and dorsal regions.”

Canada lynx are typically observed with silvery gray coats, especially during the winter months, while their fur may turn reddish-brown in the summer. However, the lynx in the video stands out due to its incredibly uncommon black coat. Such variations in coat color among lynx species are quite rare but fascinating to study. In the world of evolutionary biology, distinguishing traits like these can be adaptations that prove advantageous or maladaptive.

Scientists have not yet determined any specific advantages or disadvantages of melanism in animals. However, Jung believes that the black coat of the lynx could be maladaptive as it lacks the necessary camouflage. During winter hunts, this darker-haired lynx would likely be more noticeable against the snowy landscape.

The fact that someone was able to photograph such a rare creature is truly remarkable. We find it hard to believe that this elusive lynx with its black coat was finally captured on camera. We would love to hear your thoughts and ideas about this extraordinary discovery! Don’t hesitate to share them with us in the comments below.


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