An incredibly charming owl that looks like it came straight from a fantasy fairy tale and has made a lot of noise thanks to its unusual beauty. This bird with snow-white feathers and cherry-red eyes interested many users of social networks; some even suggested that it was a snowy owl. However, this owl’s unusual but magical appearance is explained by this bird’s rare disease.
Honestly, nothing unusual; everything is the same as what your ordinary non-ɢʜᴏsᴛʟʏʏ, not glowing eyes see. This owl has ᴀʟʙɪɴɪsᴍ, one of nature’s most remarkable genetic features.
Let’s take a closer look at what this disease is.
Aʟʙɪɴɪsᴍ is the result of cells that cannot produce melanin, the pigment needed to color skin, scales, eyes, and hair. This genetic disorder is passed onto offspring if both parents are carriers of the recessive gene. If Aʟʙɪɴɪsᴍ is present, the animal may appear white or pink. The animal can be completely ᴀʟʙɪɴᴏ (pure albino) or have ʟᴇᴜᴄɪsᴍ. Pure ᴀʟʙɪɴᴏ animals will have pink eyes, nails, skin, and scales. The pink color is due to the blood vessels showing through the skin. Animals with ʟᴇᴜᴄɪsᴍ may have mostly typical but lighter coloration than the same animals but without the abnormality.
Such is the case with this owl. The complete absence of melanin in an owl also extends to the eyes. The iris is technically colorless, and we see red because the iris reflects the pink-red skin around the eyes. Because melanin helps protect the skin from sunlight, the lack of pigment means increased ʀɪsᴋ development ᴍᴇʟᴀɴᴏᴍᴀ. This creates some problems for owls sunbathing, often leading to ᴅᴇᴀᴛʜ for ᴀʟʙɪɴᴏ the animal.
Birds with Aʟʙɪɴɪsᴍ have difficulty finding a mate. While many species attract a potential mate with their bright colors, the white bird will likely be rejected and left alone. Although she has a beautiful white coat, her flaws cause her problems. Such white animals will be found ᴘʀᴇᴅᴀᴛᴏʀ faster in the wild. Because of this, its life expectancy is thought to be lower than that of its brightly colored counterparts