Albinism is a congenital disorder in humans. In animals, it’s considered a hereditary condition due to the absence of melanin. Albinism in animals generally affects the pigment of:
Animals can have both biological pigments and structural colors, which means they can appear to be colored white due to the two mechanisms being affected by albinism. While albino animals are a rare sight, seeing the various species with an alternate coloring have incredibly interesting results.
Here are 16 of some of the world’s rarest albino animals.
1. Eastern grey squirrels have a gene that can make their coats white. The towns of Marionville, Missouri and Brevard, North Carolina have a higher number of white squirrels. These bright squirrels are rare to spot as they find themselves more noticeable to predators like hawks.
2. Some penguins may appear all-white. Much like albino squirrels, these white penguins have a difficult time fishing and camouflaging in the ocean, they would be hard to spot in the snow.
3. White lions are caused by a recessive trait, which is derived from a less-severe mutation in the same gene that causes albinism. These all-white lions have continued to be able to breed and hunt successfully without human intervention.
4. Unlike Snowy owls, which can appear all white, albino owls have pink skin around their eyes and can have pink toes alongside their white feathering.
5. Instead of appearing all white, albino pythons usually have light yellow patterns compared to the usual brown and tan designs that decorate their scaly bodies.
6. Albino dolphins are an incredibly rare sight in the wild, but a Louisiana bottlenose dolphin known on the Internet as Pinky, has been spotted around for over eight years now.
7. Albino hedgehogs are so rare that only one in 10,000 are born with this pale pigment. While their brightness isn’t ideal for hiding from predators, many are able to survive by foraging through the dirt, which helps camouflage them.
8. Albino kangaroos certainly stand out when compared to their grey-colored comrades. Albinism in kangaroos usually results in fur white with pinkish eyes, paws, and snouts.