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Colour changes in rats?

3907 Views 22 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  Wench
I got my very first rat not too long ago, just this Christmas past. Her name is Doris (as lots of you already know), and she is my favourite little pumpkin.

I spend a lot of time with Doris and have looked at her up close many times since I have known her. When I first got her, she was completely black. I have pictures of her all over this site from Christmas up to a few months ago, and she is as black as night.

But recently, her colours have changed drastically. She has gone from being pitch black to being hooded, within about a month. I noticed her gradually getting lighter, and now she is two completely different colours. Her upper half and a streak down her back are still blackish, but her bottom half, her underbelly, and everything else is a very light brown, similar to a light agouti.

Summer is coming now, and I'm assuming it's a seasonal thing. I've just never read anywhere that rats (at least Rattus norvegicus) change their colours seasonally.

Is it a common thing?
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The colour change is causing the pattern change, so both. When I first got her she was a black self, and now she's got an agouti brownish coloured bottom half and the hood on her has remained blackish.



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Ahhhh, the age thing would make a lot of sense, she's taken on a little middle aged pudge with her fur change as well, but her pattern has also really changed. The top half is still blackish, and she really looks like a hooded with two very slightly different colours.

Her bottom half is very light brown, a completely different colour from the top. It's not just a few different hairs, it's completely different. I had a look at her fur and the individual hairs do seem to have bands of different colours, like a light brown, dark brown, and then a light brown all on one hair.
Maybe! I don't know much about colours when it comes down to specifics.
Bear looks like a younger Doris.
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