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Friday, April 09, 2004

but of course!

Black cats may be the more fortunate felines

Black cats, a symbol of bad luck in many cultures, may be actually be more fortunate than their fairer relatives. New research shows that black coats have evolved separately many times in different species of cat - indicating that dark fur has a survival benefit.

Furthermore, the mutations leading to a black coat are in the same gene family as those involved in human diseases like AIDS, so it may be that black cats are more resistant to disease than others. Of the 37 species of cat that exist, 11 can have black coats.

[Eduardo Eizirik, an evolutionary geneticist at the US National Cancer Institute in Maryland] told New Scientist that the most likely benefit of a black coat was camouflage for hunting.

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i knew it! black cats ARE the best! (except for Data, a dearly beloved tabby who ranks up there among the best)

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