Rare Albino Sea Turtle.
Hoax or Fact:
A popular picture in circulation online since many years claims to show a rare and beautiful Albino Sea Turtle. Although it appears like a work of art and many viewers thought it could not be real, the picture in fact shows a real turtle, but it is not Albinistic as such.
Not Albino, Leucistic Turtle
The Sea Turtle seen in the picture is protected by a Sea Turtle Conservation Project in a small town of Sri Lanka called Kosgoda. Shown in the video is a clipping of the beautiful species swimming in waters. Reportedly, there are two such rare turtles in the sanctuary of Sri Lanka. But like mentioned most often online, the turtle is not Albinistic, it is Leucistic. You can see a case of Albino turtle on mail Online website dailymail.co.uk. While Albinism is characterized by the reduction in production of skin pigment Melanin, Leucism is associated with reduction in multiple types of pigment, not just melanin. In case of Leucism, there will be partial loss of pigmentation in the animal resulting in white, pale, or patchy coloration of the skin, hair, feathers, scales or cuticle, but not the eyes. Albinos are not entirely white, but generally display a pale yellow color, and the animals typically have red eyes due to the underlying blood vessels showing through. On the contrary, most leucistic animals have normal colored eyes.
While white turtles that are leucistic are extremely rare, the skin condition can be seen in many other species like white tigers and pigeons (see one in Image Gallery). Interestingly, Leucistic animals lack the natural patterns that disguise them from their predators, conceal them from prey, or even help them attract mates. The cute Leucistic Turtle in Kosgoda town of Sri Lanka nonetheless attracts many visitors.