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Mon Feb 20, 2012, 03:21 PM

Chuprcabra or Texas Blue Dogs?

I've been sure that these things were mangy coyotes, but this seems to indicate there are other possibilities!

Texas Blue Dogs
Jon Downes travels to the Lone Star State to solve a canine cryptozoological mystery
By Jon Downes


The blue dog stuffed and mounted in Dr Phyllis Canion's fireplace

February 2012
FT280

My search for the blue dogs of Texas began in November 2004, when I visited a farm in Elmendorf, just south of San Antonio, where local rancher Devin McAnally had shot a hairless, blue-skinned canid in July that year (see FT199:48–49) (1). He took photographs of it to a local convenience store where one of the customers said that it looked just like “the chupacabra that her grandmother had told her about when she was a girl”.

Thus was born the legend of the Texas chupacabra. I took one look at the bones of the unfortunate creature and was convinced that it was nothing of the sort. Meanwhile, the Elmendorf beast was discussed widely across the Internet and dismissed as a coyote with mange. Well, I was pretty sure that this couldn’t possibly be the answer either, and over the next six years I studied the matter from afar and hoped that I would eventually get back to Texas to investigate in person.

In the spring of 2009 – thanks to the generosity of Richie and Naomi West – Corinna and I returned to Texas and became involved in the hunt for the blue dogs, as what started as a holiday became a full-scale investigation. Richie and Naomi had already visited Blanco, Texas, where another specimen was languishing in the deep freeze belonging to a local student taxidermist. He took a number of tissue samples, which were sent off for DNA analysis. The results have since come back from the Davis Labs, California: it was a coyote cross; although what it was crossed with proved impossible to isolate.

More with a good amount of factual information: http://www.forteantimes.com/features/fbi/6298/texas_blue_dogs.html

6 replies, 6527 views

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Reply Chuprcabra or Texas Blue Dogs? (Original post)
csziggy Feb 2012 OP
dixiegrrrrl Mar 2012 #1
csziggy Mar 2012 #2
dixiegrrrrl Mar 2012 #3
csziggy Mar 2012 #4
dixiegrrrrl Mar 2012 #5
csziggy Mar 2012 #6

Response to csziggy (Original post)

Fri Mar 2, 2012, 01:25 PM

1. Amazing.....

many thanks for the pic, too...

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Response to dixiegrrrrl (Reply #1)

Fri Mar 2, 2012, 01:33 PM

2. That the DNA is showing these are not just mangy coyotes is really neat!

I never realized before there were other breeds of hairless dogs other than the hairless Chihuahuas so that was cool, too.

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Response to csziggy (Reply #2)

Fri Mar 2, 2012, 01:57 PM

3. Wonder if Blue Dog Democrat has a connection...lol.

Btw..Chinese Crested dogs are also hairless.
A litter of them can contain hairless and hairy pups.
I had one of the hairy kind, but I think the hairless are not very attractive.

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Response to dixiegrrrrl (Reply #3)

Fri Mar 2, 2012, 02:19 PM

4. Hmm - I didn't know hairless dogs were that common!

But I don't know much about canine genetics.

I was intrigued by the striping on the animal in the picture - it must be shading on the skin. It reminds me of the brindle coat pattern common in the pit bulls around here.

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Response to csziggy (Reply #4)

Fri Mar 2, 2012, 02:58 PM

5. check out this pic:

from the Wiki page of Tasmanian Tiger ( actually a marsupial that looks like a dog)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tasmanian_Tiger

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Response to dixiegrrrrl (Reply #5)

Fri Mar 2, 2012, 04:18 PM

6. That was the first thing I thought of when I saw the picture!

But I believe the striping is actually caused by the agouti gene:

The Agouti gene is responsible for determining whether a mammal's coat is banded (agouti) or of a solid color (non-agouti).[1] The chief product of the Agouti gene is Agouti signalling peptide (ASP), but there are a number of alternative splice products.

In dogs, the Agouti gene is associated with various coat colors and patterns, including sable and tan points.[2]

In horses, the Agouti gene suppresses the action of the extension locus that produces black pigment (eumelanin) into point coloration on the mane, tail, lower legs and tips of the ears, thus allowing the underlying red pigment, pheomelanin, to appear on the body. This produces the color known as bay.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agouti_gene


I breed horses for dun and buckskin colors which involves another gene that dilutes or removes the red and/or yellow pigments. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dun_gene) That is the same dilution gene that causes Siamese cats and cream version of other cat colors, such as the lighter versions of calico. The horse color breed associations value the striping caused by some expressions of the agouti gene when they judge the color.

The agouti gene causes striping on the legs, shoulders, and sometimes other areas of the body, such as a dorsal stripe down the backbone. Some horses are even brindle, though it is very rare. The horse I have bred with the most striping even has little finger stripes going out from her dorsal stripe.

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