Melanistic or Black Fallow Deer - Stock Image

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Description
This fallow deer was shot on the grounds of the Aardhuis, the hunting chalet of the royal dutch family, The Netherlands.
The Fallow Deer (Dama dama) is a ruminant mammal belonging to the family Cervidae. The species is very variable in colour, with four main variants, "common", "menil", "melanistic" and "albinistic". The common form has a brown coat with white mottles that are most pronounced in summer with a much darker coat in the winter. The albinistic is the lightest coloured, almost white; common and menil are darker, and melanistic is very dark, even black (easily confused with the Sika Deer). Most herds consist of the common form but have menil form and melanistic form animals amongst them (the three groups do not stay separate and interbreed readily).

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