(ORDO NEWS) — Swiss zoo keepers were extremely surprised to see a giant albino Galapagos tortoise. Such an animal has reportedly never been seen before, either in the wild or in captivity.
The chance of an albino turtle being born is 1 in 100,000
An albino Galapagos giant tortoise or elephant tortoise (Chelonoidis niger) hatched from an egg on May 1 at the Swiss zoo in Servion. A pale red-eyed animal with a yellowish shell can hardly be called “giant” yet – the turtle weighs only 50 grams.
Albino animals do not produce the pigment known as melanin, which gives color to skin, hair, eyes and feathers, and in this case, tortoise shell. The eyes of albinos appear red due to the fact that they also lack pigment, and they take on the same color as the blood vessels under the surface of the organ.
Albinism is a rare phenomenon, the frequency of which depends on the species. For example, the chance of a human being born with albinism is 1 in 20,000, while for turtles it is 1 in 100,000.
Albion turtle hatched a brother a few days later. However, the color of its eyes, skin and shell matched the typical color of the species.
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