Black Groundhog at DEEC

By John Harrod, Manager, DuPont Environmental Education Center

DEEC has had a resident groundhog this summer. While groundhogs are fairly common, this one is worth noting because of its unique color: black.

dark groundhog by John Harrod
Groundhog with increased levels of melanin. Photo by John Harrod

Its black fur is due to excess amounts of melanin, a pigment that gives skin, hair, feathers and fur their dark color. This occurrence is known as melanism, while the opposite is albinism, which occurs because of a lack of melanin or other types of pigment.

 Visit DEEC and try to spot our unique resident. While there, join us on a free nature walk or register on the spot for a netting in the marsh.

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