What is albinism, and why does this strange but amazing genetic condition occur? Marvel at the unexpected beauty of these albino animals.
Within a large number of animal species, it can happen that from time to time, a specimen is born that is completely different from its peers. With the exact shapes and features, but with a different color, albino animals border on the artistic appearance because of their immaculate whitish hues and total absence of color. Albinism is one of the rarest conditions in nature, but it is also one of the most documented ones. There have been several records of species that have presented this condition in at least one specimen. Experts have already described what causes albinism and have been able to study and learn more about it. Here is a list of 10 incredible albino animals that have been recorded at least once.
What is albinism?
Albinism is a condition where there is an absence of coloration in the skin, hair, and eyes. It is caused by the absence of melanin, responsible for giving us the characteristic color of each of these elements. Behind albinism, there is, of course, a genetic mutation causing the absence of the pigment known as melanin.
Albinism is obtained hereditarily. It appears by the combination of the two parents carrying the recessive gene. It can occur in humans as well as in other species of animals. However, white animals must be carefully differentiated from albinos. Albinos are characterized by unpigmented irises, which give them a reddish appearance in the eyes. Even the eye contour is pink and not dark as it would normally appear.
There are different degrees of albinism; in some specimens, the absence of pigmentation is not as evident as it may be in others. For example, in the case of albino killer whales, they still present their darkening pattern, although to a lesser degree than a killer whale without this condition.
There is also another genetic mutation that can be confused with albinism called leucism. This also occurs due to a genetic disorder and also involves pigmentation. However, it does not affect the coloration of the eyes, and there is only a reduction of coloration in hair and skin, but not the total absence of melanin. A clear example of this is the leucistic salamanders, which have a pinkish appearance, but their eyes are still dark in color.
Although albinism is a rare condition derived from a genetic mutation, it is still an extraordinary phenomenon to observe. Scroll down to discover some species of animals in this amazing condition.
The mesmerizing appearance of albino animals:
Text and photos courtesy of Ecoosfera
Translated by María Isabel Carrasco Cara Chards