Albinism is a congenital disorder characterized by the complete or partial absence of pigment in the skin, hair and eyes due to absence or defect of tyrosinase, a copper-containing enzyme involved in the production of melanin. While most of us have probably met an albino person, few people know that albinism also occurs in animals. Albino animals are very rare though. Scientists estimate that in mammals, for example, albinism occurs once out of 10,000 births. Another reason why albino animals are so scarce is because the disorder drastically reduces their survival rate. Due to their strikingly light skin color, albino animals can be easily picked out by predators and the absence of pigment also makes them much more prone to skin cancer and some other diseases. On the other hand, their rarity makes some albino animals very popular and pricey pets. In fact, some laboratory animals such as mice are even purposely bred to be albino. Some of the animals on this list are albinos. However, albinism is not the only reason why animals go completely white. Some pigment related disorder also include “whiteface”, Axanthism, and Leucism. Whatever the reason for these animal’s unique lack of color, their striking appearance is a thing of beauty. From white lions and penguins to alligators and koalas, here are 25 Awesome Looking White Or Albino Animals You Have To See Today.
With some males exceeding 250 kg (550 lb) in weight, the lion is the second-largest living cat after the tiger. Normally, its coloration varies from light buff to yellowish, reddish, or dark ochre brown.
Found in Australia and New Guinea, the wallaby is a small or mid-sized herbivorous macropod relative to the kangaroo. Wallaby´s fur usually varies from grayish to red and brown.
Native to southern African waters, African penguins are easily recognizable by their black facial masks. This albino specimen that hatched at the Bristol zoo was completely white though.
The fallow deer is a small, usually about 150 cm (60 inch) long deer that can be found in most Europe. The coloration of this animal varies greatly but most fallow deer have a chestnut coat with white mottles.
In squirrels, coloration is highly variable between (but sometimes even within) species. Nevertheless, an albino squirrel is extremely rare no matter what species it is.
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Native to all continents except for Antarctica, the rat is a medium-sized, long-tailed rodent. The most common species of rat are the black and the brown rat but albino rats have also been recorded.
The white tiger is a pigmentation variant of the Bengal tiger, which is occasionally reported in some Indian states. According to scientists, one white tiger is born out of 10,000 births.
In native American religions, white buffalos are considered sacred. They are extremely rare though, The National Bison Association has estimated that they only occur in approximately one out of every 10 million births.
In peacocks, it might be difficult to tell if the bird is albino or have a genetic mutation called leucism. Both albino and leucist peacocks are entirely white but albinos have red or pink eyes while leucists have blue eyes.
It’s rare but albinism occurs in reptiles too. In 1995, an albino alligator was born in Florida.
A small rodent notable for its typical pointed snout, the mouse is normally grayish to brownish but as it is a common object of laboratory experiments, an albino mouse is less rare than most other albino animals featured in this list.
In 1966, an albino western lowland gorilla was caught in Equatorial Guinea. The specimen was then transported to Barcelona zoo where he was given the name Snowflake and lived until his death in 2004. He died of skin cancer that was related to his albinism.
In rabbits, there are ten different color gene groups but a rabbit’s coat only has two pigments, pheomelanin (yellow) and eumelanin (dark brown). Albino rabbits (with no pigment) also occur sometimes.
Albinism can be seen in fish as well. One of the greatest examples of an albino fish was this albino alligator gar. Considered to be a living fossil, alligator gars are usually brown, olive to gray or yellow.
The Jackal is a canid native to southeastern and central Europe, Asia Minor, the Middle East, and South Asia. While most jackals have coloration similar to that of a wolf, this specimen spotted in Iran was completely white.
In birds, albinism is not as rare as in other animals but spotting an albino bird is still something special and unique. Normally, kookaburras (kingfishers native to Australia and New Guinea) have colorful plumage.
One of the largest snakes in the world, the Burmese python is a dark-colored snake with many brown blotches bordered in black down the back. Unless it is an albino like this specimen kept in a Japanese zoo.
Yes, even dogs can be albino. Normally, pugs are known for their typical black mask, which is obviously not the case for this adorable albino pug.
After domesticated hedgehogs became popular in the early 1980s, several new colors of these spiny mammals were created, including albino.
In ferrets, the domesticating process might have started as early as 2,500 years ago. These days, ferrets have been fully domesticated. Albino ferrets are very popular pets.
Plentiful in ponds in rivers in sub-Saharan Africa, the African clawed frog is usually greenish-grey in color. However, even within this species, albinos have been recorded.
Best known for their ability to mimic other birds´ songs, mockingbirds come in many different colors, depending on the particular species. In the US, the northern mockingbird is the most common species.
Among aquarists, albino pet fish are very popular. Catfish is one of the species in which genetically created albinism is quite common.
Bats are usually grey to black but in 2012, an albino bat with red eye was spotted in Masbate, an island province of the Philippines.
Koala´s pelage mostly ranges from silver grey to chocolate brown but several albino koalas have also been documented. In 1997, an albino koala named Onya-Birri was born at the San Diego Zoo.