Albino Humpback whale seen off Svalbard28/10/2012 20:19:23
White Humpback whale off Spitzbergen
October 2012. These extraordinary photos were very kindly sent to us by Dan Fisher, who is a crew member on the SV Antigua, a beautiful 3 masted sailing ship that can sails the waters off the Svalbard Archipelago in summer. Dan spotted this beautiful white Humpback, and took some fantastic photos of the whale. Wildlife Extra believes that the whale is an albino, as we can see no colouration at all on the whale, and there does seem to be a pink tinge to his/her eyes and mouth.
ALBINISM, LEUCISM AND OTHER COLOUR VARIATIONS IN ANIMALS
Leucism is a very unusual condition whereby the pigmentation cells in an animal or bird fail to develop properly. This can result in unusual white patches appearing on the animal, or, more rarely, completely white creatures.
Albinism is a different condition. The easiest way to tell the difference between the two is that in albinism the eyes are usually pink or red, and albinism affects the entire animal, not just patches.
This occasionally causes very excited biologists to think they have discovered a new species, when in fact leucism is the cause of the unusual markings they have seen. Click here to see our gallery of leucistic animals and birds.
All of these images were taken by Dan Fisher whilst aboard the SV Antigua - Our thanks to Dan for his kind permission to use the images.