11:43 AM — Cygnet Colors
When I was a kid I was told that the color (gray or white) of mute swan cygnets (chicks) depended upon their sex. Recently I asked another blogger
who'd taken a picture of some cygnets if he knew about this, and he said he didn't think there was any relationship. So I did some Google digging
to see what I could find.
- A 1968 paper of indeterminate origin states that color is not strictly tied to sex, but that white is a recessive trait linked to female chromosomes, meaning it is more likely that females will be white and males be gray, but it is not always the case. According to this artcile, with swans, males have XX and females have XO (instead of our XY and XX respectively). This is a pretty darned old article though, so I find it doubtful.
- However, on the other hand a 2004 New York State Department of Environmental Conservation page says there is no linkage between gender and color, but cites no source, which I'd really like to see.
said they were all gray, which is patently not true, so I fixed it and included the two above links. I'm not really finding anything else good and concrete...