Most people know of albinism, the famous genetic condition where an animal’s skin lacks a pigment known as melanin, but few know its inverse: melanism. You might be asking, what is melanism? Melanism occurs when a creature develops much more melanin than other members of its species, leading to all black animals that look absolutely beautiful. Melanistic animals actually are somewhat common in nature, with some species even passing on the trait as a genetic adaptation. Black skin and fur assist in nighttime camouflage, and melanism can also help animals deal with extended periods in direct sunlight. While albino animals remain vulnerable to UV rays, many melanistic animals benefit from their unique genes.
These photos of all black animals capture the rare, almost statuesque beauty of animals caught in the world’s most slimming shade. Though some animals thrive in every color, others sport one and only one color, and they deserve proper notice for pulling it off. Whoever said orange is the new black clearly never saw a fox rocking a Goth signature color.
Golden-Mantled Ground Squirrel