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Melanins form a diverse group of pigments synthesized in living organisms in the course of hy-droxylation and polymerization of organic compounds. Melanin production is observed in all large taxa from both Pro-and Eukaryota. The basic functions of melanins are still a matter of controversy and speculation, even though their adaptative importance has been proved. Melano-genesis has probably evolved paralelly in various groups of free living organisms to provide protection from environmentalfatcat:7en3jd4bubhdhdv3b2bkn6owpi