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get me out of my mind

Research on wolves has brought up a conundrum. Genetic research done in 2008 states that wolves lack the genetic mutation that causes melanism (aka a dark color pigment). It's only found in domestic dogs which means wolves today that are fully black actually have domestic dog somewhere in their genetic history. Black pigment, like dark hair, is dominant and therefore more likely to occur if present in the genetic makeup.

We all know that domestic dogs are the genetic decedents of the gray wolf. So I'm assuming this means that the genetic mutation didn't happen until after humans started domesticating them. (It would make sense because inbreeding had to have happened to create the different breeds we have of domestic dogs nowadays.)

My issue is that I'd intended to have black wolves in this original series I'm working on, but that won't work with back-story I've created for werewolves/shifters. I know the coloring of the wolf shouldn't matter, but for some reason it does and yet I can't ignore the science. Artist licenses aside I think I need to rework how Bryn's wolf looks in my head. Her bloodlines from France and they don't have black wolves at all... drat. (I could make her redish in color since all of France's wolf legends on wolves gives them red in their fur. Of course red doesn't feel right. Boo.)

Why did I start reading books on wolves in the first place? Science makes fantasy harder. :)
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I might be mistaking this.. but since humans have the gene - wouldn't that make more sense for the black wolves for shifters? Or are the wolves not shifters?
The genetic mutation for melanism doesn't happen in human beings. When we have an overabundance of melanin it's usually a sign of disease and it very rarely covers the entire body.

In this series it's wolves that learned to become human so their coloring matters. Damn the science. ;)
Could the mutation have occurred within them over the generations like it apparently did in domesticated dogs?
It hasn't occurred naturally yet. There's also no reason yet as to why melanism occurs in nature, but it does tend to happen more in high altitudes. There are mountain ranges in France, but they don't have naturally occurring black wolves. Black wolves happen most often in North America and Canada.
There's already a red wolf and they're much smaller than a gray wolf. If I went with red I'd be inclined use that species as the model. Also they aren't native to France, they're mostly found in Southeastern United States.

Plus red, regardless of shade, doesn't feel right.