Animals have long existed in our planet. They have roamed the forests and have more knowledge of this universe than most of us. Some of them are even capable of detecting the Earth’s magnetism and migrating from one place to another. While they hold a special place in our hearts, albino animals who are born lacking the regular color of its species can catch a viewers attention. While it’s considered unique by us, the oddity can cause trouble within their own species, as well as making them extremely vulnerable to predators.
According to John Bates, Wisconsin Northwoods naturalist, the chances of an albino deer being born are about 1 in 20,000. True albinos have little to no melanin in their bodies and their hair is white because it lacks pigment.
Ladybugs are cute little critters with their red shells and black spots. In many cultures, they are considered good luck if they land on your hand. They are farmers’ best friends because they love feeding on plant-eating insects like aphids. Though they are called ladybugs, they are technically beetles, not bugs.
Finding one albino animal in any species is difficult enough but in 2o17, rangers in Kenya came across a female and baby giraffe who were both albinos. In a blog post, one of the rangers said:
“They were so close and extremely calm and seemed not disturbed by our presence. The mother kept pacing back and forth a few yards in front of us while signaling the baby giraffe to hide behind the bushes — a characteristic of most wildlife mothers in the wild to prevent the predation of their young.”
Albino frogs are no different than their fellow species, except in appearance. Albinism affects many animals, including fish, birds, reptiles, humans, and amphibians. Those born with the condition lack melanin pigment, the compound that gives skin color. So, an albino frog is just a regular frog with a genetic defect that means it does not have skin pigmentation. It has the same diet and traits as its counterparts.
There are only about 100 known albino hedgehogs around the world. According to the Telegraph, only one in 100,000 hedgehogs are born with the recessive gene that means they have no melanin pigment in their skin, eyes and spikes. Because of their color, they are easily discovered by other animals and have a hard time in the wild.
Peacocks are beautiful birds. Although they are unable to fly far, they still manage to get around and show their magnificent beauty. Albino peacocks are technically a white peacock which is a genetic variant of the Indian Blue Peafowl.
7. Gourami Fish
The giant gourami is a species native to Southeast Asia. They are mainly used in farm fields due to the fact that they consume foreign plants. The native fish to Asia was also discovered in Hawaii during the late 1900’s and is presumed to be possible aquarium releases as this species soon outgrows containers.
8. Sea urchin
Sea urchins are marine animals that are easily recognizable. There are around 200 known species of sea urchins that can be found throughout the oceans of the world. They usually live in warm waters, close to coral reefs or rocks. Today, fishing and pollution is causing their numbers to be drastically reduced.
Albino crows have all white feathers and pink feet, legs and bill. They also have red or pink eyes which is a common sign of albinism. The Cornell Lab of Ornithology explains: “Albinism is a genetic mutation that prevents the production of melanin in the body. Albinistic birds have pink eyes because without melanin in the body, the only color in the eyes comes from the blood vessels behind the eyes.”
Even for Australians who see kangaroos every day, albino kangaroos are very unusual. According to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, it is extremely rare to see an albino kangaroo in the wild. Although they are mesmerizing for the human eyes, albinism causes vision and hearing problems for the animals; making them vulnerable in the wild.
Albino zebras are sometimes called golden zebras. Although the color of their tan can differ, they always retain a faint stripe pattern. For zebras however, the tan helps them blend in more with the environment.
Albinism is an inherited trait. An albino rabbit has a gene combination that overrides all other combinations, resulting in a lack of the enzyme tyrosinase. Tyrosinase is responsible for controlling the production of melanin. So, no tyrosinase means no pigment and albino rabbits born with this genetic trait have white hair and red eyes.
Not all white squirrels are albinos. They are leucistic, which means they only have a partial loss of pigmentation. While they look similar to albinos that have white or patchily colored skin, hair or feathers, their eyes will be dark and not red unlike albinos.
Albinism in snails is rare. According to the Sydney Morning Herald, only two albino snails have been discovered in the wild. Some experts suggest that it’s hard to find albino snails in the wild since they are highly vulnerable.
According to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, an albino turtle birth “probably occurs at the rate of one in many hundreds of thousands of eggs that are laid”. The fact that only one in 1,000 sea turtles live to maturity reduces the chances to even shorter lengths. They also have a harder time surviving in the wild because they can be singled out easily by other animals.
It is extremely rare to find an albino alligator because only about 20% of alligator hatchlings make it to adulthood. Albino alligators especially have a hard time in the wild because of their color which reduces their ability to camouflage themselves. Their pale skin also makes them vulnerable to sunburns.