Monday, February 19, 2007

Albino Moose?

Rex Howell from Deer Camp Blog sent me an email with a link to World of Whitetail where he found some interesting pictures of “albino” moose. I am always interested in freaks of nature and so I had not to be asked twice to visit that website. There where seven pictures showing not albinos but white moose and a couple of pictures showing piebald moose.

White animals are not that uncommon in nature, but not all white colored animals are albinos. Albinism is due to one of several gene mutations that affect the production of normal pigmentation. True albinos, or amelanistic, animals lack melanin and are white with no markings and with unpigmented pink eyes. In other words, albinos have the genes responsible for giving color pigmentation missing.

White animals – non-albinos: Leucism is similar to albinism and is often mistaken for albinism; leucistic animals are white with dark eyes and some pigmentation, for example ghost markings. White deer are often mistaken for albinos, but are caused by a different mutation called chinchilla, which affects the distribution of pigment on the hair shaft.

A piebald deer is like the white non-albino but with leucism defects, meaning that not all pigment cells are affected by leucism, resulting in a white base color with splotches of natural coloring. Piebald animals are more common than white colored animals and these are more common than the pure albino. True albinos are very rare and seldom grow to full adulthood.

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Editor said...

very good info about these unusual animals. Thanks!

Othmar Vohringer said...

Thanks Editor. That went fast!! Just this second I sent you an email thanking you for the link you sent me and that I wrote this article. Then I come here and find your comment. Are you by any chance a magician or a mind reader? Lol. :D

-Othmar Vohringer-

Steve Remington said...

Interesting looking critters. They almost look like stuffed animals don't they?

KeesKennis said...

Hi Othmar,

Got here via Editor.
Yesterday I used the same albino deer pics in a post and also a white lion that is not an albino.

Nice post and blog


Othmar Vohringer said...

Thanks Steve and keeskennis for your visit and postings.

Steve - The critters look rather stuffed or at least very alien.
Keeskennis – As an animal behaviorist I have been involved in the worlds largest breeding program for white tigers and lions, and yes they are NOT albinos.

I will drop by and read your blog in the coming days.

-Othmar Vohringer-

Sara said...

You seen knowledgable on the topic of albinsim, yet I wonder why you use the description "freaks of nature". Last time I checked my mom was not a freak at all, rather extraordinary if you ask me.

Othmar Vohringer said...

Thanks for your post Sara.
“Freak of Nature” is a common expression for rare occurrences. Perhaps not politically correct but not an insult to anyone. I never claimed to be politically correct and never will bow down to it. I am sure your mother is a extraordinary person, so was my Deaf (not hearing-impaired) mother. It is not so much what words we use to describe things it is the thought in our hearts and minds that counts. If my expression insulted you I apologize to you.

-Othmar Vohringer-

TomKush said...

Piebald deer... I wasnt sure if i spotted Piebald or albinos. From a good distance they look like llama til I shot my rifle, i couldnt believe it was a deer. So why how i ended up reading your site...Information seems little but im glad to know they exist. Thanks...

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