New research suggests the Polynesians, Europeans and the Chinese have had a penchant for black pigs because of the novelty of their colour. Pigs have played an important cultural role in Hawaii since Polynesian explorers first brought them to Hawaii 800 years ago. Scientists led by Professor Greger Larson from Oxford examined the DNA sequences of modern feral Hawaiian pigs and discovered that a novel mutation is responsible for their black coats, a significant finding because the pigs were expected to have either the Asian or the European genetic mutation leading to their black colour. The study in the Royal Society Open Science journal, says wild pigs would naturally have camouflaged coats. However, human societies have independently selected domesticated pigs that express the trait of black-coloured coats on at least three separate occasions.