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Title: Spiny Mice Modulate Eumelanin to Pheomelanin Ratio to Achieve Cryptic Coloration in ‘‘Evolution Canyon,’’ Israel

Authors: Natarajan Singaravelan, Tomas Pavlicek, Alex Beharav, Kazumasa Wakamatsu, Shosuke Ito, Eviatar Nevo

Journal: PLoS one

Volume, year, pages: 5, 2010, e8708

Scientific Article Overview

Download this document and type your answers after each question. For each question provide a brief but complete answer to the question (you should write in complete sentences and proofread your work for spelling and grammatical errors). Note that the answer may be found in more than one place. Remember that you should write in your own words. Do not copy and paste from the original article!!!

1.Why is this research important?
This research is important because most studies have overlooked how rodents actually achieve cryptic coloration, which can be attained only through the optimization between the yellow to brown “pheomelanin” and grey to black “eumelanin”.

2.What is the hypothesis or goal of the research?
Their hypothesis is to examine how hair melanin content of spiny mice living in the opposing slopes of EC evolves toward blending in with their respective background habitat.

3.What are the major methods used?
The tests are performed at “Evolution Canyon” I, which is located at lower Nahal Oren. The slopes are the same geologically and soil wise but they differ in distinct topography. Spiny mice were captured in traps, 14 from the African slopes and 16 from the European slopes. All mice were adults and fed cucumbers and carrots. Hair samples were taken from the rear of the mice by scissors. Hair samples were oxidized by permanganate to pyrrole-2,3,5-tricarboxylic acid and analyzed by HPLC with ultraviolet detection to determine eumelanin content. To determine pheomelanin content, identical samples were hydrolyzed with hydriodic acid to 4-amino-3-hydroxyphenylalanine, and analyzed by...
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