Jan 9, 2023

Why You Won’t Find A Single Green Mammal

This might be a question that’s never occurred to you before now, but since you’ve realized there aren’t green mammals anywhere on the globe, you need to know why, right?

First off, if you’re thinking perhaps we just haven’t discovered one yet, that’s likely not the case. Though there could always be an anomaly lurking out there somewhere, the facts below pretty much ensure no green-furred beast exists.

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Image Credit: iStock

Australian zookeeper Shannon Farrington explains more about mammals, pigments, and the answer to this question.

One of the largest drivers of hair/fur color in mammals is – you guessed it – evolution.

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Image Credit: iStock

Namely that unless there was a reason for the green hue that was/is linked to survival, there’s no reason for it to have developed.

When you see bright hues, like on a mandrill, it’s down to helping them attract females and be able to reproduce.

“There aren’t any mammals born with green colouration. The closest animal i can think of to the color green is a sloth. Sloths have special hairs and each one is full of grooves; these grooves collect debris from the external environment, which in the case of the South American rainforest is warm and very humid.

This means you’ll find sloths carrying around lots of algae and fungi making them look green.

It works great for an animal that’s trying to camouflage in its surroundings to avoid predators.”

They look and smell like the trees they live in, but they’re not actually green.

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Image Credit: iStock

“The reason you won’t find any green mammals is because their hair doesn’t produce green or blue pigments.

It’s the same as in humans – there are lighter pigments, such as blonde or oranges, and then darker pigments, like browns and blacks.

No combination of those could create a shade of green.”

And, unlike humans, other mammals don’t have easy access to a bottle of dye.

Too bad for them.

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