Interesting finds from Season 7!

Season 7 is up and running, and we’re already running into some interesting critters!

melanistic serval

No, that’s not a house cat wandering through the middle of the savanna. If you check out the gigantic ears, it appears that we’ve caught sight of a melanistic serval! Melanism involves a genetic mutation that causes the development of dark pigments in the skin, like a reverse albinism. For comparison, these guys normally look like this:

regular ol’ serval

According to our field assistant, Daniel, the serval population is booming in the Serengeti at the moment. Perhaps with so many animals, it’s not entirely unexpected to find one or two odd cases like this.

Let’s see what other interesting finds pop up in the latest season of Snapshot Serengeti!


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6 responses to “Interesting finds from Season 7!”

  1. Art says :

    If discoveries like this go on, will there be another season, given enough funding?

    • Margaret Kosmala says :

      There will definitely be more seasons, whether or not we have discoveries like this. The cameras are currently out in the field recording Season 8, funding is pretty well set for Season 9, and we’ve got a proposal in to the National Science Foundation for funding for another ten seasons.

      • Art says :

        How long is the time gap between the end of Season 7 data and the start of Season 8 data?

      • Margaret Kosmala says :

        There’s no gap. Season 7 goes through November 2013. Season 8 starts where it left off and will go for about 6 months or so. There is a delay between when we bring all the images back from the Serengeti and when they show up on Snapshot Serengeti, because we need to do some housekeeping on the images, extract date and time info, and upload them. But while we’re doing that, the cameras are all out taking pictures for the next season.

  2. Purr and Roar says :

    Amazing ,Melanistic Serval! What a treat to see this, I have only seen pictures of melanistic leopard but this is so cool 🙂

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