For those not familiar with the BLACK SQUIRREL is a melanistic subgroup of the eastern gray squirrel. As a melanistic variety of the eastern grey squirrel, individual black squirrels can exist wherever grey squirrels live. Grey mating pairs cannot produce black offspring. Grey squirrels have 2 copies of a normal pigment gene and black squirrels have either 1 or 2 copies of a mutant pigment gene. If a black squirrel has 2 copies of the mutant gene it will be jet black. If it has 1 copy of a mutant gene and 1 normal gene it will be brown-black. In areas with high concentrations of black squirrels, mixed litters are common. The black subgroup seems to have been predominant throughout North America prior to the arrival of Europeans in the 16th century, since their dark colour helped them hide in old growth forests which tended to be very dense and shaded. As time passed, hunting and deforestation led to biological advantages for grey coloured individuals. Today, the black subgroup is particularly abundant in the northern part of the eastern grey squirrel's range. This is likely due to the significantly increased cold tolerance of black squirrels which lose less heat than greys. Black squirrels also enjoy concealment advantages in denser northern forests
This one was captured on a path at Lasalle Park out in Burlington, Ontario which to one side features Lake Ontario and where WILDFOWL normal swim around etc. The post processing was used the BLACK BODY in Camera-in-the-RAW to check the Colour Balance and from their opened in Adobe Photoshop Elements 7 where I resized it to 401 x 600 px, and then applied the UNSHARP MASK and last saved as JPEG.
Wildlife and nature
NDODS, gwynn56, lenocm