Definition of melanism in English:

melanism

Line breaks: mel¦an|ism
Pronunciation: /ˈmɛlənɪz(ə)m
 
/

noun

[mass noun] chiefly Zoology
  • Darkening of body tissues caused by excessive production of melanin, especially as a form of colour variation in animals.
    More example sentences
    • Adaptations to short, cool summers include activity at low temperatures, selection of warm habitats and microhabitats, melanism and hairiness coupled with basking behaviour, and prolonged or abbreviated life cycles.
    • However, melanism and amelanism are known to occur in many species of natricine snakes.
    • That pattern of morphological convergence includes larger bills, reduced rust coloration in plumage, and increased melanism or dark coloration.

Derivatives

melanic

Pronunciation: /mɪˈlanɪk/
adjective
More example sentences
  • There may still be very good mechanistic reasons why melanic plumage color reveals individual quality in European barn swallows, but they should have nothing to do with carotenoid signaling.
  • We suggest that, in addition to its other functions, an important selective advantage of melanic plumage is its resistance to degradation by bacteria that are part of every bird's environment.
  • The majority of studies on melanin ornaments cited in Table 1 measured only the size of discrete patches of melanic feathers.

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