An Italian farmer got a brightly-colored surprise.
The notion of animals born in bright, pastel colors seems like something that would be purely of the realm of fantasy, yes? You can name a dog Clifford, but it won’t be red and gigantic. However, genetics are occasionally a bit of a whimsical science, and so sometimes life throws us a fascinating curveball.
On October 9, Cristian Mallocci, an Italian farmer who lives on the Mediterranean island of Sardinia, was helping his sheepdog Spelacchia to give birth to a new litter of puppies, both to serve as his future generation of herders and to send to good homes. For the most part, the puppies were unremarkable (albeit incredibly cute), but one of them had a striking difference: bright green fur.
Y’see, in a mammalian mother’s womb exists a chemical pigment known as biliverdin. The primary function of this pigment is to signal the presence of bruises by turning them their usual green. In the event an infant has contact with it while the in the womb, though, their hair can be dyed in its color.
i’ve decided to go all in on the green Sardinian puppy named Pistachio. this is my entire focus for the next few weeks https://t.co/iCCUK8nKyO
— David Sims (@davidlsims) October 22, 2020
Mallocci named this emerald pup Pistachio after his particular shade of green. While the other puppies in the litter will all be sent off to new, loving homes, Pistachio will remain on the farm with Mallocci and his mother. Biliverdin dying is not a permanent condition; eventually, Pistachio’s fur will turn the same color as his mother’s, and it has already started to fade. Nevertheless, as green is often used as a universal sign of hope and luck, Mallocci thought the dog’s presence was a sign of positive things to come.