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Albino Nurse Shark

Discussion in 'Shark Forum!' started by Rob9876, Jun 10, 2020.

  1. Rob9876

    Rob9876 Barracuda

    My son was able to get some pretty good shots of an albino nurse shark that we encountered on a wreck near Panama City Beach, Florida over Memorial Day weekend: https://www.instagram.com/p/CAlmsFgg5IM/
  2. Rob9876

    Rob9876 Barracuda

    Specifically, this was on the deck of the Black Bart wreck.
  3. Pearlman

    Pearlman Barracuda

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Bangalore
    GoodShot! What causes Sharks to become albinos?
  4. Rob9876

    Rob9876 Barracuda

    Good question, not a ton of information on these, but from what I was able to find it appears to be caused by "a blocked gene crucial to pigment formation" -- and some think that blocked gene could be caused by malnutrition of the mother.
  5. BoundForElsewhere

    BoundForElsewhere Waiting for the zombies ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: NYC
    maybe they will become like the pink dolphins of the amazon.

    i wonder if the lack of pigmentation helps or hinders their survivability
  6. JMBL

    JMBL Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: France
    From what I've read (so beware it's second hand info, I'm no scientist so it maybe a load of non-sense) : albinos are very rare, because their particularity make them easy target for predators, as they are easily spotted. Among herds, other animal of the group tend to chase or even kill them, as they attract attention on the group.
    Rob9876 and Pearlman like this.
  7. Rob9876

    Rob9876 Barracuda

    I've also read that the lighter color of albino sharks makes predators (including other sharks) think of them as prey.
  8. drrich2

    drrich2 ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Southwestern Kentucky
    Albinism defeats camouflage, making creatures easier to see in their vulnerable, juvenile stage. It's generally seen as decreasing survival odds.

    In humans, albinism increases risk for UV-damage from sunlight.

    In the pet industry, albino red-eared slider turtles are sometimes visually impaired as young juveniles (I've not been reading up on the pet turtle hobby for awhile, but did often years ago).

    Don't know much about the pink dolphins of the Amazon, but it's worth noting the Amazon is a muddy river, not a high-viz. environment.
  9. formernuke

    formernuke ScubaBoard Sponsor ScubaBoard Sponsor

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: New England
    To long at depth without sun exposure will cause things to become less tanned aka white...... sorry couldn't resist.

    To be serious, I believe its a genetic trait that both parents must have for it to take effect. Not completely sure but I remeber reading that somewhere.
  10. smellzlikefish

    smellzlikefish Marine Scientist

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Oahu, Hawaii
    True albinism is a genetic trait known as oculocutaneous albinism where the skin, hair, pupils, etc completely lack melanin. In reptiles this is known as amelanism. There are other types where individuals lack other pigments (ex. anerythrism for lacking red pigments). The nurse shark in the images may be some form of albino, but like formernuke said, it could also be lighter in color from just staying in deeper waters for much of its life, since sharks are known to tan when exposed to sunlight.

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