Roar Africa

Exploring Africa Since 1688

Monday, October 3, 2011

White Wildebeest spotted! (Masai Mara)


One morning in early August, two honeymooners on safari were surprised to spot a young, white wildebeest in the Masai Mara, Kenya.  No less surprised was their guide who had not seen one before.

"The herd was part of the migration passing near Naibor Camp. We were just about to drive off when I saw something white among them." said Melissa. "We could hardly believe our luck."

Melissa was honing her spotting skills on her second safari with us.  Thanks for sharing your photos with Roar Afrcia!


So was this a white wildebeest or an albino wildebeest and what's the difference?
There are three braod categories of white animals:

  1. White: genetically white due to a recessive gene.  Usually a true white; dark stripes, rings or masks usually appear the same color (or diluted) as found in the normal phenotype. The eyes are the normal color.
  2. Albino: The coat color will be a creamy white to pale yellow – the color isn't a true white. Dark markings will be expressed as gray or pale tan. Also genetic, pure albinism is due to a lack of melanin and identified by striking red eyes.
  3. Leucistic: Leucism is a genetic mutation resulting in defective pigment producing cells.  Partially leucistic breeds are common in dogs, cats and horses.  
Melissa's wildebeest is definitely not pure white but it's eyes are not red either.  Now let the zoologists debate....

You can see White Lions in South Africa.  Read more here...

2 Comments:

Blogger Andy Damiano said...

albino donot have to be red or pink eyes , blue coms to mind, some definition will say a eye color that is not the normal color with the whie hair /skin. but that can be confusing to what we were taught in school , the science does and will change from time to time . I know of a breeding of two toads albinos together that produced a 4/5,000 thousand normal offsprings color black and eye color that at six weeksof age change appearence and had become 100 % albinos. I spoke with many researcher and no one heard of this before.

July 2, 2015 at 5:35 AM  
Blogger Andy Damiano said...

albino donot have to be red or pink eyes , blue coms to mind, some definition will say a eye color that is not the normal color with the whie hair /skin. but that can be confusing to what we were taught in school , the science does and will change from time to time . I know of a breeding of two toads albinos together that produced a 4/5,000 thousand normal offsprings color black and eye color that at six weeksof age change appearence and had become 100 % albinos. I spoke with many researcher and no one heard of this before.

July 2, 2015 at 5:36 AM  

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