A white green turtle, a pink dolphin, pink human-understanding nature’s changes

Albino individuals usually do not survive in nature, that’s why they are such a rare view. Recently an albino ibex goat has been spotted in the Italian Alps and a rare adolescent pink dolphin was seen in Calcasieu Lake, an estuary located just at north of Gulf of Mexico in southwestern Louisiana. a-rare-pink-albino-dolphin-2

This albino dolphin had reddish eyes and glossy pink skin. It is small in comparison to the others it is traveling with and appears to be a youngster traveling with its pod.

This pink color when seen in an animal that is not this color normally is exhibiting a traitcalled albinism. It is hereditary.

Albinism is not an infectious disease and cannot be transmitted through contact, blood transfusions, or other vectors. The principal gene on the DNA in the chromosomes responsible for albinism prevents the body from making the usual amounts of the pigment melanin. Melanin determines the color and its shade.

chelonia_mydas_albino_p1440273

Most forms of albinism are the result of the biological inheritance of genetically recessive alleles (genes) passed from both parents of an individual, though some rare forms are inherited from only one parent. There are other genetic mutations which are proven to be associated with albinism. All alterations, however, lead to changes in melanin production in the body.

The chance of producing offspring with albinism if a nonalbino mates with an albino. However, if two individuals albino_girl_honduras2carrying the albino gene mate albinistic offspring can be produced. Albinism usually occurs with equal frequency in both genders.

Ocular albinism is more frequent in males and only the eyes lack pigment. People who have ocular albinism have generally normal skin and hair color, and many even have a normal eye appearance.

In oculocutaneous albinism pigment is lacking in the eyes, skin and hair. In non-humans the equivalent mutation results in lack of melanin in the fur, scales or feathers. People with oculocutaneous albinism can have anywhere from no pigment at all to almost-normal levels. Because organisms with albinism have skin that lacks (sufficiently or entirely) the dark pigment melanin, which helps protect the skin from ultraviolet radiation coming from the sun, they can sunburn easily from overexposure. Lack of melanin in the eye also results in problems with vision, related and unrelated to photosensitivity.

Mother nature loves all her children.

Resources

Images 1: http://news.softpedia.com/news/A-Rare-Pink-Albino-Dolphin-59167.shtml

Excerpts & images 2 & 3: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albino

Other images of beautiful albinos: http://www.nordinho.net/vbull/blogs/catraven/7822-albino-animals.

http://rashmanly.wordpress.com/2008

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