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Albino Baby Alligators At Dubai’s Atlantis The Palm
(22 July 2015)

 

Two baby alligators have been welcomed at the hotel on Atlantis ’s Lost Chambers Aquarium on Dubai’s Palm Jumeirah.

But these aren’t just any regular gators, the little creatures named Ali and Balu don’t look like the rest of their pals as these are albino alligators.

The rare species – which have a white skin colour due to lack of pigmentation - can be found in the United States and China. However they’re said to be easy prey because they stand out due to their lack of green colour, that being the reason for their low numbers in the wild.

Brothers Ali and Balu will also have to be careful in the sun because they’re very sensitive to UV rays and their skin may be damaged.

At the moment they are 80cm long and are being looked after in a habitat with special light and heating to protect them. They have the potential to grow up to four metres and move at 50 kilometres per hour.

The team at Atlantis are currently teaching the guys their names as part of their conditioning. Aquarists Nicholas, Amanda, Suresh and more trainers also use other techniques on the pair who are considered endangered species.

10 things you never knew about albino alligators

1. Alligators first appeared on earth about 37 million years ago.

2. Southern Florida is the only place where both alligators and crocodiles live side by side.

3. After around two years, teenage alligators leave their mother's protection to start their own families.

4. Alligators aren't picky about what they eat. They are carnivores, so any type of prey is a meal to these reptiles. Alligators may eat fish, mollusks, birds, small mammals and other reptiles.

5. The gender of alligator offspring is determined by the temperature in the nest and is fixed within seven to 21 days of the start of incubation.

6. Alligators can't control their temperature internally. So, when they are cold, they sunbathe, and when they are hot, they go for a swim.

7. Being white doesn’t mean an animal is albino. The true test is in the eye colouration. All albino animals have pink/red eyes whereas white animals with blue eyes are called leucistic, which means they may have a reduced amount of pigmentation in relation to a normal specimen of their species but it is not as severe as albinism.

8. Albinism is an inherited trait and is passed from adult to young.

9. Albinos are rare because the genes which cause albinism are recessive and rarely occur.

10. It’s believed for every 10,000 mammals born, one will be albino and this shows how rare the condition really is.

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