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One Gene, Many Mutations: Key That Controls Coat Color in Mice Evolved Nine Times, Harvard University Study  
3/15/2013 7:30:04 AM

For deer mice living in the Nebraska Sandhills, color can be the difference between life and death. When the dark-coated mice first colonized the region, they stood out starkly against the light-colored, sandy soil, making them easy prey for predators. Over the next 8,000 years, however, the mice evolved a system of camouflage, with lighter coats, changes in the stripe on their tails, and changes in body pigment that allowed them to blend into their habitat.