Intraspecific eye color variability in birds and mammals: a recent evolutionary event exclusive to humans and domestic animals

Bibliographic Collection: 
Publication Type: Journal Article
Authors: Negro, Juan J.; Carmen Blázquez, M.; Galván, Ismael
Year of Publication: 2017
Volume: 14
Issue: 1
Pagination: 53
Date Published: 12/2017
Publication Language: eng
ISBN Number: 1742-9994
Keywords: domestication, Eye coloration, Iris, OCA2 gene, Sexual dichromatism

Human populations and breeds of domestic animals are composed of individuals with a multiplicity of eye (= iris) colorations. Some wild birds and mammals may have intraspecific eye color variability, but this variation seems to be due to the developmental stage of the individual, its breeding status, and/or sexual dimorphism. In other words, eye colour tends to be a species-specific trait in wild animals, and the exceptions are species in which individuals of the same age group or gender all develop the same eye colour. Domestic animals, by definition, include bird and mammal species artificially selected by humans in the last few thousand years. Humans themselves may have acquired a diverse palette of eye colors, likewise in recent evolutionary time, in the Mesolithic or in the Upper Paleolithic.

Short Title: Frontiers in Zoology