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Thread: Roe with no caudal patch

  1. #1

    Roe with no caudal patch

    Out this morning and watched a doe and her 2 followers feeding a couple of fields away. Whilst both of her offspring had normal patches the mother had none and was in fact darker on the hind end than the rest of her. Has any one seen this elsewhere?

  2. #2
    Could be the doe had loose movements and was covered in faeces on the back end. I have seen this a few times on Roe does, and from a distance it looks to the observer that there is no caudal patch.
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  3. #3
    I did wonder about that, but looked to uniform in colour. That being said it was a few hundreds yards away through binoculars. I'll see if I can catch up with her over the weekend and get a better look.

  4. #4
    Lots of Brown stuff all same colour

  5. #5
    Roe colouring does vary over the UK. I have seen lots of "brown caudal patches " in Surrey, but fewer in Devon and Warwickshire. When discussing this with other local stalkers, there is a suggestion that when Roe were being reintroduced from the continent, some areas tended to brown, and some to white. Any others with observations ?

  6. #6
    I got into a group of four last week, 3 does and a buck. All three does had bright white caudal patches, the buck had a brown patch, barely lighter than his body colour. That was in Suffolk. I was 70 yards away and it definitely wasn't "loose movements"!
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  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by NigelM View Post
    I got into a group of four last week, 3 does and a buck. All three does had bright white caudal patches, the buck had a brown patch, barely lighter than his body colour. That was in Suffolk. I was 70 yards away and it definitely wasn't "loose movements"!
    Same with me last night, got up on a buck, caudal patch only very slightly lighter than the rest of his coat.
    On the way back to the truck there were a couple of roe, well it was like they had glow in the dark caudal patches, they were so bright. I think they were does but it was too dark to be 100%.

  8. #8
    Natural selection at work here. Those with bright white caudal patches are much easier seen. They get culled and don't past genes on. Those with dark patches are nt seen and do get get to pass their genes on. Give it a few generations.

    Also if most of our Roe are the resultant of very distinct genetic pools - ie have come from very different parts of Europe, then there is likely quite a wide number of differences in their offspring once the genes start mixing.

    I am sure those who study genetics can throw in more on this subject.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Heym SR20 View Post
    Natural selection at work here. Those with bright white caudal patches are much easier seen. They get culled and don't past genes on. Those with dark patches are nt seen and do get get to pass their genes on. Give it a few generations.
    Only if:

    1. Caudal patch brightness is heritable.
    2. The reproductive success of those with darker caudal patches really is higher than those without.

    I would guess that the selection imposed by culling is very weak indeed in comparison to whatever is selecting for their maintenance, which is likely to be something to do with social communication among roe deer. Bear in mind that that they've been prey animals throughout their entire evolutionary history, and that caudal patch has been giving them away the whole time. It is there DESPITE attracting predators for some millions of years, so it probably carries substantial fitness benefits unrelated to predation.

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