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Today everyone in the Department of Awesome Natural Wonders is…

Today everyone in the Department of Awesome Natural Wonders is wearing a Black Cat Mask as they marvel at this photo of a pitch-black serval – an African wild cat that’s usually a golden color and covered in spots and stripes, like this:

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The serval’s black coat is caused my melanism, a genetic mutation that’s the opposite of albinism, causing the development of dark-colored pigment melanin in skin and fur. Wildlife photographer Sergio Pitamitz captured this photo of the incredibly rare melanistic serval in Kenya, looking like the living shadow of a cat, so rare that there are only six records of sightings like this one in scientific literature.

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Head over to National Geographic to learn more about this awesome sighting.

[via Neatorama]

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