Did you know that albinism can be experienced in Animals too?
Albinism is a birth defect condition that results in the partial or complete absence of coloring pigment (tyrosinase – this is an enzyme vital in melanin production) in the skin, hair, and eyes.
Albinism is an inherited condition. It’s transferred to a species through the inherited recessive genes alleles. This condition affects all vertebrates, both humans and animals. Technically, and species that have a backbone.
Albinism can be divided into two groups:
- Albino – This applies to species that have no melanin.
- Albinoid – This applies to the species that have an insufficient amount of melanin.
Most of us have been exposed to albinism in humans. So we know very little about it in animals.
Albinism in animals results in them having pink nails, skin, or scales. Animals too can fall into the two albinism groups mentioned above.
Animals that fall in the albino group appear bleached. While those that fall in the albinoid group will have some parts that looked bleached. And the other parts will resemble the coloration of their kind.
Note: The sure albinism test in animals is characterized by the light blue or pink eyes.
Problems faced by animals with albinism
⦁ They are not able to camouflage hence easily spotted by both their
⦁ Sensitive skins.
⦁ Poor visual abilities are hence vulnerable to hunger and danger.
⦁ Sunlight causes an unfavorable environment for them.
⦁ Some species may experience neurological problems. This commonly observed in the white mice.
⦁ Species that rely on coloration while mating is unable to attract mates.
⦁ They have a poor immune system. This is due to poor development due to the missing melanin.
⦁ Some cultures believe that they are a source of power or cure. Hence at the risk of being used wrongly. (They were a time when albino humans were hunted for rituals practices.)
⦁ May result in hearing disorders in some species such as mice, cats, and rats.
⦁ They generally have a short life span.
The uniqueness of these animals with albinism
⦁ They are naturally beautiful and attractive.
⦁ They are rare hence precious.
⦁ They are also believed to have good luck.
⦁ Some of the affected species have become adaptive to their environments.
⦁ They offer information for research.
⦁ They are simply amazing.
Examples of animals with albinism