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Blue-bear-570x339

The bear in question.(Photo credit Aaron Smith)

The Blue Headed Black Bear was a black bear spotted by a driver on the side of a British Columbian highway. It took the appearance of a regular bear, except with a cobalt-blue head.

Explanations

There is no exact explanation, however, theories have abounded such as the bear stuck its head in some paint or has been shot with paintballs. However, the blue coloration is not splattered, nor does it have the lack of uniformity caused through paintball splatter. Others have suggested it is simply a hoax.

Melanistic Elk

An elk (left) and fallow deer (right) with partial melanism. Note the cobalt-blue colored skin and fur.

The coloration could be attributed to a genetic condition known as partial melanism, which is known to cause cobalt-blue coloration in mammals.

Melanism is a development of the dark-colored pigment melanin in the skin or its appendages and is the opposite of albinism. The word melanism is deduced from the Greek: μελανός, meaning "black pigment".

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