Thursday, March 31, 2011

Man's Fascination, and yet...

Albino. This anomaly was on my mind so I Googled it and found some pretty cool pictures of some pure white animals. This occurs in nature more often than I thought. I'm sure you all know this, but I'll give you the definition of it anyway since it is, in fact, my blog. (plus it makes me feel smart :P) So albinism is a hereditary inability to produce the pigment melanin which leaves pale or pink skin, white fur, pinkish or light blue eyes and usually impaired vision. To be albino is so not the greatest thing, though we humans seem to see it as a novelty. In fact, albino animals are often caught and bred for that reason. Which I guess is better for the animal because the chances of an albino animal surviving in the wild is very slim. The biggest disadvantage would be the impaired vision. Apparently melanin has a big part in developing the irises, retinas, eye muscles and optic nerves. The animal has problems with focusing, depth perception and tracking...which it would kinda need, especially if its a predator or say a....bird. Did you know that melanin also helps protect you from the sunlight? Ya, or rather melanomas (clusters of melanin) does. So besides not being able to see and dealing with constant sunburns, with that bright white coat of fur or feathers or skin, all thoughts of camouflage disappear! Oddly enough though, some studies have revealed that sometimes predators will avoid albinos, not even recognizing them as prey to begin with, huh. Very interesting. Oh and studies of birds like ravens, barn swallows and penguins, show that albino birds have trouble winning a mate. In fact they were consistently rejected based on the lack of colours and patterns a mate would rely on to make choices, poor little birdies!! Talk about some serious prejudice! (actually sounds like us humans...hmmm lol). So the outcome of my study is that these creatures are to be pitied, and are a result of a fallen world. I am actually now quite sad for the poor albino animals of the world, especially the ones humans take advantage of (a half blind animal is easier to control). But perhaps what has caused me the most grief this day is an article I came upon regarding the human side of albinism. I was shocked to the core to read this title "Seven new albino killings in Tanzania and Burundi" and my heart sunk even more as I continued to read. Recently a 28 year old woman and her 4 year old son were killed and...actually I don't even want to write what they did and continue to do to these helpless people. I cannot even imagine living in that kinda of terror. Sorry to leave you on a sad note....but sometimes thats just the way it is. Now I'm going to go cry a bit

1 comment:

  1. I totally googled albinos too - after my giraffe googling. But I didn't see the stuff about the killings. How terribly sad!