Gerbils: Chimeras & Mosaics
On rare occasions, a coat colouring can grab the attention of the gerbil community and usually these coats with their unusual markings involve mosaicism or chimerism. These animals are usually bi-coloured or tri-coloured when combined with Spotting. Significantly, their markings are usually distinct and their coat patterns are unlike those seen in all other white marked gerbils.
For example, almost all white marked gerbils caused by Dominant spotting have a white mark on their nose, one on the forehead and one on the back of the neck. Also, large white patches are often seen on the chest and ventral region on non-agouti. White feet and a white tip to the tail are also common. The action of modifying genes can extend this pattern into a collared variety, where the neck spot will form a collar joining up with the white chest patch. The nose and forehead spot also tends to join up, forming a blaze and further modifying genes can increase the markings further to create mottled and variegated coats.
However, while these unusual markings could very well be due to a new mutation and present us with a different type of markings to what we are used to, there are several other ways of getting these random patterns of colour without a new form of spotting mutation appearing....
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