Thomas Jung, a researcher and employee of the Government of Yukon, recently captured a video that has fascinated and amazed many animal enthusiasts. Jung managed to spot and film a Canada Lynx, or Lynx canadensis, a species native to North America found in regions of Canada and parts of the United States.
The lynx typically has a light brownish-grey coat, although there are instances of individuals with black fur. However, before Jung’s recording, there hadn’t been any footage captured of a black lynx, making his video an extraordinary documentation.
Jung’s video, recorded in 2022, quickly went viral. Mammalia magazine even highlighted this unique sighting in an article titled “Paint it black: first record of melanism in Canada lynx (Lynx canadensis).”
The uncommon black lynx was observed in a rural residential area near the town of Whitehorse, Yukon, approximately 50 meters away. The lynx was seen roaming around until it was disturbed by the sound of a barking dog, at which point it decided to leave.
The Canada Lynx is known for its solitary and elusive nature. Regarding this particular lynx, Jung reported, “It had a black coat containing whitish gray guard hairs throughout, as well as whitish gray hairs in the facial ruff and the rostrum and dorsal regions.” He noted that the grainy quality of the video made it challenging to identify too many distinct characteristics.
These animals go through a seasonal change in fur color. During the summer months, their typically silvery-gray coats transform into a reddish-brown hue.
Jung explains that these variations often represent adaptations that may either offer evolutionary advantages (adaptive) or disadvantages (maladaptive). In the case of the black Canadian lynx, Jung believes it’s likely maladaptive due to camouflage issues. This implies that during winter, when the surroundings are covered in snow, their distinct black fur would be conspicuously noticeable, making them more visible to predators and prey.
The extraordinary footage of this rare and beautiful animal can be seen below.
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