Thread: Piebald...
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Old 01-25-03, 04:39 PM   #15 (permalink)
rattekonigin
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Join Date: Apr-2002
Posts: 412
Well, I can tell you at least one side effect of albinism in any animal (including BP's)...the main one being an increased physiological sensitivity to ultra-violet radiation. The lack of melanin affords the animal little protection from the sun, protection that the wild-type would have. Also, albinos have bad eyesight because their bodies can't even produce the black pigment that coats the inside of the eye (this pigment is there to absorb any stray photons of light so that they don't bounce around inside the eye and screw up vision), that's why albinos have pink eyes and that's why pupils are black in normally pigmented individuals...Not to mention the huge increase in vulnerability to predation caused by albinism in wild animals...Any mutation has some side effect, and most mutations are deliterious...that's just the nature of things...So, it's not an assumption, it's a fact...check out any text book or journal on genetics, evolution, etc...

I brought up albino BP's because there was another thread a while back that asked if albino BP's had shorter life spans than wild-type individuals...I think it was a good question (even though, if I recall correctly, the consensus was that they do live as long as normals), and I merely stated that it would be interesting to see the side effects of "morph" mutations quantified/qualified...It's productive to ask questions like these, questions are the basis for the advancement of knowledge...

I, personally, don't think that breeding these mutations into animals constitutes abuse, because under domestic conditions most of these side effects don't cause any real damage, at least none that we can see outright...I mean, whether an albino BP can see well or not doesn't really affect it when it's kept in a rubbermaid rack with food provided weekly. In those conditions it will fare just as well as a normal BP...in the wild it would be another story.
There might be some physiological detriments caused by these "morphs" but until someone really investigates it, we'll never know...

My intention with posting this picture was just to show everyone how much we have in common with animals, and I thought it was an interesting little "factule" (I just made that word up )

There's really no need to get defensive/hostile...
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