When I saw this photo, I thought it was a picture of a toy. I don't have time to blog the details today; if you're interested, you can read about white lions at Wikipedia. A couple items to note:
- Like the leucistic alligator I featured earlier this week, this is another white animal that is NOT an albino. The whiteness in lions is caused by a recessive gene for a color inhibitor.
- They are not common in nature because the whiteness serves as a selective disadvantage during hunting.
- They have been considered divine by local aboriginal populations.
Reposted from 2009 to add this photo of a leucistic giraffe:
“Omo is leucistic, meaning many of the skin cells are incapable of making a pigment. Some are, so she is pale but not pure white, with red or blue eyes, as a true albino would be,” he explained.
“Omo is the only pale giraffe we are currently aware of, but we have also observed leucistic waterbuck, Cape buffalo and ostrich in Tarangire.She will probably be killed by a hunter.
Photo credit: Derek Lee/Caters News.