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The widely accepted evolutionary theory which holds that the primitive colour of mammalian hair is agouti. Subsequent evolution leads to saturation by one or other colour (i.e. eumelanic or phaeomelanic, see melanin and phaeomelanin) owing to the elimination of the other colour, followed by bleaching, eventually to white. In the course of these changes the two primitive colours may be distributed about the body, producing distinctive patterns.

Subjects: Zoology and Animal Sciences — Ecology and Conservation.

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