Albinism is a partial or complete lack of pigmentation in the skin, resulting in a pale white appearance and often red eyes (what you see are blood vessels that are masked by pigment in 'normal' animals). Apart from an unusual appearance, animals that carry the gene can also have poorer eyesight than their peers and have a tough time in the wild. Not only because they are easy prey for predators, but also because trophy hunters and poachers can earn a ton of money from them.
Albinism is exceptionally rare (less than 1 in a million), but occurs in pretty much all mammals.It happens when an animal inherits a certain gene that prevents color pigment from reaching the skin and eyes.
This can happen in fish, reptiles and amphibians as well, but they are rarely fully white because their color is determined by more than just melanin.
Partial lack of pigment is called 'leucistic' instead of albinism. Creatures who suffer from this are partially or completely white, but don't have red eyes.
Snowflake was an albino gorilla who lived in captivity his entire life at the Barcelona zoo.
Albino Lowland Gorilla at the Barcelona zoo, called Snowflake
He was captured in Equatorial Guinea and later received the Spanish nickname "Copito de nieve", which means "little snowflake"
Snowflake has unfortunately passed away in 2003 by the effects of skin cancer. He became 37 years old.
Some old footage from 1997 and 2003 of Snowflake:
Penguins born with albinism usually don't live longer than a few months.
The penguin below lives in a zoo in Gdansk, Poland, and is the only one of its kind that is kept in captivity.
Albino Penguin at a Polish zoo
A leucistic penguin:
Kangaroos and wallabies
Albino wallaby with her offspring that inherited the gene
A caretaker feeds a white elephant in Naypyidaw, Myanmar.
White elephants have special important in their culture, as it is believed that they bring good fortune and better times.
Albino baby elephant
Albino white peacock
Albino white peacock
More gorgeous white peacocks can be found here.
There are only 3 wild white lions in existence (that we know of)
These facts made capturing this image of one of them even more special to me. The pride had finished their giraffe kill and eventually made their way to this waterhole, just as i had hoped. We waited, and eventually these two lions came and lay next to each other to drink...then it was a matter of luck getting the image with both of them staring straight at me, with tongues out. My dream shot!
The Seneca white deer are a rare herd of deer living within the confines of the former Seneca Army Depot in Seneca County, New York. When the 10,600-acre (43 km2) depot was created in 1941, a 24-mile (39 km) fence was erected around its perimeter, isolating a small herd of white-tailed deer, some of which had white coats. These deer are not albino, but instead carry a set of recessive genes for all-white coats. The isolation of the herd causes high levels of inbreeding.
A seneca white deer Seneca county, New York. This deer doesn't carry the albino gene but has a set of recessive genes that causes him to have an all-white coating.
Albino Seneca white deer
Alligators and crocodiles
Only 12 alive albino alligators are known in the world.
Pearl is an albino alligator who lives in Gatorland in Orlando:
With alligators, only 3 per 1 million carry the albino gene.
Unfortunately they are hunted for their skin to make purses and handbags.
If you want to learn more about Pearl: https://www.miamiherald.com/news/state/florida/article129102339.html/video-embed/amp/fresnobee
An albino bat or a Shikaka
Whales and Orcas
Albino humpback whale
Second known sighting of an Albino Humpback Whale outside of Norway
White whale research centre: https://www.migaloo.com.au/
This is Willow, who is mostly white, but not a true albino. Migaloo, off Australia, is a true albino humpback.
Migloo and Willow should be introduced... maybe there will be chemistry...
An albino baby turtle swims with green sea turtle babies in a pond at Khram island, near Pattaya, Thailand.
A bale of baby turtles
I just learned that a group of turtles can be referred to as a bale...so here's a bale of baby albino turtles.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/billadams/3022376635/in/photolist-2Fet91-5B5tgZ-7DeJp1-AV3XJ - Zebra (Born on the island of Moloka`i, Zoe is the only known captive white (golden) zebra in existence. You can read more about her here. Another shot of Zoe, taken on the same day in August of last year, can be found here. better picture: https://static.boredpanda.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/albino-animals-3-24__880.jpg
Albino zebras are also known as golden zebras
Author: Bill Adams
I’m so happy to see folks starting to understand that there is more than one condition that results in pigment loss. Albinism is generally speaking a complete melanin loss and affects eyes as well as other pigmented areas. Leucism expresses itself in a lot of different ways (both piebald/white patches and much paler presentation of usual coloring are common, as seen here), but only with hair, fur, skin, and feathers. While it’s hard to see the eyes of this zebra, the fact that we can see stripes of a pale brown - rather than an all over white or pale yellow animal - suggests leucism.
This blue eyed albino zebra has it going on: - here name is Zoe: https://owlcation.com/stem/Meet-Zoe-The-Rare-Golden-Zebra - Zoe is one of the rarest zebras in exsistance. She is what is called a Golden Zebra, although some refer to her as a “white” zebra. Zoe is the only Golden Zebra known to be in captivity at this time. Zoe was born on the Island of Molokai, Hawaii in 1998 and shortly after her and her mother, Oreo, were moved to the Three Ring Ranch, which is an animal sancturary on the Big Island of Hawaii.
Many people refer to Zoe as an albino, but Zoe actually is not an albino zebra. She has a condition called amelanosis. Amelanism, or amelanosis, is a pigmentation abnormality characterized by the lack of color pigments called melanins. Albinism is the complete absense of color pigments or melanins.
Albino moose: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kB0Mz6ZL-VE
https://i.imgur.com/9rliK3e.gifv - This is actually just a white moose, not albino. It is caused by a genetic mutation, just not the same mutation that causes albinism. These are extremely rare with only 100 in Sweden, which is where this clip is from.
Albino dolphin calf
Albino Risso's Dolphin Calf In Monterey Bay, California. Taken By Melissa Galieti:
His name was Copito de Nieve (Snow Flake), and was the principal attraction in the Zoo of Barcelona. He passed away on 2003. There is an animation movie about him!
Albino tawny frogmouth
https://static.boredpanda.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/albino-animals-3-23__880.jpg ( https://www.flickr.com/photos/palmerlakeguy2010/11824187933/in/photolist-j1S48c-aEZ7k6-49rWu1-bF4sBk-aFsMxK-bbcSgM-qnD2cP-7Krbvt-9Qkm2A-bqyYkj-88yp26-6ocjeV-6ocjdZ-nSS25q-aUwWzz-nSRR5W-o8j2q7-6fPmXi-nhN5Wg-nSRYK5-9XJ1Qv-dTJvaD-dpvH8D-nBwVGr-99YvQG-6aLahL-5W62ea-aAAZfr-hLhM35-6GqEMQ-bsZkcb-4P5K4n-gcd7BR-2mPCm-avEX4c-q6fKow-9LcbqM-owWcYy-4iXG7N-de2bxB-mjjkb5-5bYxQe-62zDUy-o3Eh75-fADVCF-fAUcEu-9rvxVU-5BpvUA-jKCqpR-5BpSG3 )