|SREL Reprint #0176|
Coat Color and Survival of Displaced Wild and Laboratory Reared Old-field Mice
H. Smith, Ronald W. Blessing, James L. Carmon and John B. Gentry
Wild and laboratory reared mice from central Florida
and South Carolina were released into enclosures on the significantly darker
South Carolina soils. The lighter southern mice disappeared at the same rate as
the darker northern form, as did the males and females from both localities.
Prior experience with field conditions was associated with a large selective
advantage; the laboratory reared mice disappeared much faster than the wild
mice. The correlation between soil and pelage color implies a selective
advantage for mice to match the soil but this advantage must be relatively small
because the light form did not disappear at a higher rate than did the darker
mice. The relationship between reflectivity and wavelength was linear for both
pelage and soil samples. This probably means that the evolution of the dorsal
pelage color in this species takes place by modifications in the slope or the
intercept of the pelage line.
SREL Reprint #0176
Smith, M.H., R.W. Blessing, J.L. Carmon, and J.B.
Gentry. 1969. Coat color and survival of displaced wild and
laboratory reared old field mice. Acta Theriologica 14:1-9.