You must have heard about Black Panther, but how much do you know the 'Black Tiger' of Odisha? Scientists unveil the mystery
Why Tigers changed their strips in Odisha: The mystery behind "black tigers" in Odisha's Simlipal may be unraveled. Researchers have identified such a change in one gene. This causes the distinctive stripes on their bodies to widen and spread to the yellow skin, which sometimes makes them appear completely black. Considered mythological for centuries, 'black tigers' have long been the center of attraction.
Ecologist Uma Ramakrishnan and her student Vinay Sagar at the National Center for Biological Sciences (NCBS), Bangalore, have traced the color and pattern of tiger skin to a mutation in a gene called transmembrane aminopeptides q (tcp) that makes tigers appear black. . Professor Ramakrishnan at NCBS told PTI-Bhasha, 'This is our first and only study to find out the gene basis for this phenotype. Since the phenotype has been talked about and written about before, this is the first time that the basis of its genes has been scientifically investigated.
The researchers collected gene analysis and computer simulation data from other tiger populations in India to show this. Simlipal's black tigers can grow from a very small population of tigers and are innate, which may expose their mystery for a long time. The study, published on Monday in the journal "Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences", said tigers in Simlipal Tiger Reserve are an isolated population in eastern India and gene flow between them and other tigers is very limited.
Black tigers are not found anywhere else in the world
Sagar, a PhD student in Ramakrishnan's laboratory and the lead author of the paper, said that to our knowledge, black tigers are not found anywhere else in the world. anywhere in the world. The unusually dark coloration in such tigers is called pseudomelanistic or false colour. This rare transformation of the tiger in Simlipal has long been considered mythological. Recently, they were seen in 2017 and 2018.
India has about 3000 tigers
According to the 2018 census of tigers, there are an estimated 2,967 tigers in India. Photos taken in Simlipal in 2018 showed eight distinctive tigers, three of which were 'pseudomelanistic' tigers. The researchers also investigated to understand why this change in the skin color of tigers occurs in Simlipal alone. There is a hypothesis that the dark skin color of the mutant creature gives them an advantage when hunting in dense areas and in the deep forested area in Simlipal compared to other places where tigers live. Scientists from Stanford University in the US, HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology, Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Tirupati, Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, Hyderabad and Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun were also involved in this study.