Dun is a dominant gene that dilutes the color of body hair, leaving the points and head unaffected. Dun horses also show "primitive markings" consisting of a dark dorsal stripe, leg barring, shoulder stripes and concentric marks on the forehead (spiderwebbing, cobwebbing). The dorsal stripe appears to be a consistent feature of dun horses while the other "primitive marks" vary and may not all be present, or visible. The effect of the Dun gene on the base colors of chestnut, bay and black produces horses with shades that range from apricot, golden, dark gray, olive, and many, more subtle, variations. Dun is inherited independently of other coat color genes and can occur in combination with any other genes that modify the base colors. Dun dilution is present in many breeds of horses including Quarter Horses, Paints, Appaloosas, Icelandic Horses, Norwegian Fjords, Paso Finos, Peruvian Pasos and several of the pony breeds. The names assigned to the various Dun colors vary by breed. For additional information on Dun, D. Phillip Sponenberg's Equine Color Genetics has descriptions, names and photos for these colors.
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