Friday, 17 August 2007

Albino peacock

After seeing this i just had to add a catagory so it could be included. First the science bit (thanks to Robert J. Mangile for this source).

"albino - animal or plant lacking normal pigmentation. The albino body covering (skin, hair, and feathers) and eyes lack pigment. In humans and other animals albinism is inherited as a recessive trait. Breeding has established albino races in some domestic animals."
Albinos are unique in that none of their pigment producing cells contain pigment (melanin); i.e., the pigment cells are present but lack pigment. If any pigment cells of an individual contain pigment (melanin), it should not be considered an albino. The genetic "mechanism" that produces white plumage on a Great White Heron or a Snow Goose is different than the one that produces the white plumage of an albino. White plumage lacks pigment, but for various reasons.
If an animal breeder raises an albino, it is most certain that both parents are carriers (heterozygous) for the albino gene. The odds of the spontaneous mutation of both genes in the offspring would be astronomical! A plumage displaying only some white, or a light coloration cannot be an albino by definition because it contains some pigment; whereas, an albino has none. Generally, scattered white or patch-pied plumage differ from the white of an albino in that they lack pigment cells; whereas, the albino has pigment cells but lacks pigment in the cells. Consequently, in either case the lack of pigment lends to the production of white. Complicating matters - in at least one case involving pink-eyed, all white pigeons, it was found that the albino-like appearance was due to a combination of mutant genes and proved not to be albino.


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