Albinism in the Animal Kingdom

The animal kingdom has plethora of patterns and colors to shower us from stripes, bright hues, bold, spots and everything in between. At the same time, it could be somewhat surprising to see a tiger without its signature stripes, a turtle without its shell and so forth. Despite the fact that it is an ultra rare instance, albino animals or those animals that were born with congenital defect that’s preventing color pigmentation to reach their fur, eyes and skin are just stunning to see.

It is imperative to know the root cause of albinism and also, to why animals that have such condition is extremely valuable among predators and poachers alike.

Animals and Humans Alike

Simply speaking, albinism is a type of congenital disease that is causing complete or partial loss of pigmentation or in other words, color in animals. Starting in the utero, some genetic mutations are preventing melanin production or the pigment that’s accountable for development of colors in eyes, fur and skin. Due to the reason that these animals do not melanin, they may look to have an all-white appearance. In most cases, they look very pale or pinkish blue eyes. Every animal is producing melanin whether it is:

  • Dog
  • Koalas
  • Mice
  • Cat
  • Humans

Having said that, any animals may have albinism.

Despite the fact that albino animals are so beautiful, its one-of-a-kind appearance makes their survival extra difficult in the wild. Here are few reasons why:

  1. Their all-white, pale and rare coats and skins are treasured by hundreds of poachers worldwide.
  2. They are lacking of camouflaging skill, which makes it harder for them to hide.
  3. They could be rejected by their social groups, families and mates too as a result of their distinctive appearance.

That’s One Massive Albino Mammal

But not only land animals are affected by albinism. Believe it or not, there are extra large model of animals in sea as well that’s that has it similar to humpback whales.

These albino whales were actually spotted off of the coast of Norway and Australia and travelling in long distances searching for nutritious planktons. Depending on the plankton’s healthy they are eating, these whales may have a yellowish tinge to their skin. But the moment they get back home and eat regular planktons, their skin would look white again.