Reptiles, supposedly, do not produce pheomelanin pigments. Because this claim is based on rather weak evidence, we measured the shell pheomelanin content in the Hermann's Tortoise (Eurotestudo boettgeri). In contrast to expectation, we detected a substantial amount of this pigment. Given the recent interest in the adaptive function of melanin-based color traits, our study opens new avenues of research in reptiles.
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Vol. 47 • No. 2