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A dark-brown pigment present in many animals which in different concentrations gives brown and yellow pigmentation. It occurs as granules in cells, lies in various skin layers, and is concentrated in moles and freckles. The distribution of melanin in the skin determines skin coloring, and is altered by light and certain hormones. The color of human hair is also mainly due to melanin.

Melanism is an excessive development of melatin in an animal, as in the panther, a black variety of the leopard. Animals without any pigmentation are termed albino.

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