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Removable Animal Markings

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In fiction, an animal's natural markings, such as a tiger's stripes or a leopard's spots, are often depicted as being removable. They can either be pulled off or washed off like paint, yet the rest of their fur stays the same.

In Real Life, these markings are part of their bodies and can't be removed any more than the rest of their fur or feathers can. note 


Sister Trope to Removable Shell.


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  • There is a Garfield strip where one of his stripes comes off while Jon is bathing him.


  • The children's book Put Me in the Zoo features a leopard with colorful spots that are removable. In fact, he does many tricks with them, like putting them on other things and changing their color.

    Puppet Shows 
  • Downplayed in Sesame Street with Abby Cadabby's freckles. They're mostly normal, but in one episode, she gets a disease that makes them fall off.

    Video Games 
  • Downplayed with Mabari warpaints in Dragon Age: Origins: your Mabari warhound can equip different warpaints, changing patterns on its back. This does not just change the aesthetics, but gives it different stat boosts.

    Western Animation 

    Real Life 
  • Deer are born with spots, but lose them upon reaching maturity.
  • From Wikipedia's article on tigers:
    A tiger's coat pattern is still visible when it is shaved. This is not due to skin pigmentation, but to the stubble and hair follicles embedded in the skin, similar to human beards (colloquially five o'clock shadow), and is in common with other big cats.

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