The Colors of Life

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Merle in Rabbits?

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TheRedHayflinger
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Merle in Rabbits?

http://crazysparkles06.deviantart.com/ar...

I ask because of that...but I cannot find anything about merle in rabbits.

He is pretty dang cute though, isn't he? I seen his photos uploaded by one of my dA buddies and about melted

Daylene Alford
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I don't know a thing about

I don't know a thing about rabbits. I did find something called a tricolor http://www.flickr.com/photos/cgrabbitry/ but I'm not sure if that would be related to the color posted.

I did find a few more interesting links.

http://www.backyardherds.com/forum/viewt...
http://www.rabbitcolors.info/int/en/entr...

He is very interesting looking isn't he?

TheRedHayflinger
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I knew about harlequins and

I knew about harlequins and tri's...but never had seen one that looked so much like a merle! I love merle in dogs, so....on a bunny it's awesome too :D

I used to raise rabbits, but it's been years...and most of mine were guaranteed to be a certain color..lol (New Zealand Whites...always white. California's, always white with black points..lol) The Holland Lops I had were the most "colorful" of anything I owned.

Daylene Alford
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I suppose the only way you

I suppose the only way you would know for certain if was inheritable would be to breed him. It doesn't seem to be a common color whatever it is.

Crias
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He is interesting!

He is interesting!

Lantokay
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He is very interesting that's

He is very interesting that's for sure!

I have a few comments though. One is that the lighter parts appear to be on fluffy fur - the shorthaired fur he has is dark.

Long hair is always lighter than the colour in equivalent shorthairs because the same amount of pigment has to spread through a much longer hair. If the longer hairs are undercoat hairs, which are naturally lighter, then they will also look paler. He might look very different after grooming.

Old hair cast during moulting but still held in the coat also gets a lot lighter as it dies and fades, causing the bright reddish "rusting" seen in many animals - Black and Sable rabbits often have strange patches of bright red due to this. Sunlight also fades the coat which is why (traditionally) many rabbits never saw the sun outside their hutches because if they were destined for the fur trade it would have ruined their pelts.

Does he also have any Lionhead in him? These often throw what seems to be unusual colour combinations because the longhair gene in Lionheads primarily affects short downy undercoat hair while leaving the top coat/guard hairs unaffected. I'm not too familiar with Jersey Woolly as they aren't a breed we have in the UK (but have seen some in 4H at a country fair when visiting the US). Could crosses with these also give a random long/short hair pattern?

The other possibility is that he is a mosaic or chimera. This is the unusual occurrence where either a gene carried, comes through in one individual, or the result of two different eggs that fused at a very early stage. The late Roy Robinson wrote about a black rabbit he once saw that was shorthaired, with tufts of long hairs in random places. I have personally seen a few animals that qualified for the mosaic/chimera label, probably the most interesting was the Seal Point siamese cat with blue mottling all over his seal points! When I bred rats I also had one in a litter that was black, but had two small but distinct fawn patches on her head... genetically impossible so a one-off genetic quirk was the only explanation.

Hope this helps - would love to see more pics and updates with this bunny :)

Sue in England, UK
with Belgian Shepherds and a lifetime of small animal colour genetics.

pandemonium