Omo, a year-old Masai giraffe calf, lives in Tanzania's Tarangire National Park.
Pictures: Rare White Giraffe and Other Unusually Pale Animals
Albino and leucistic animals abound in the animal kingdom, from squirrels to crayfish.
Omo, the rare white calf recently spotted in Tanzania’s Tarangire National Park, is one special snowflake.
But unusually white animals in other species—from eagles to bears to crayfish—are often seen in nature. There are three ways this can occur: albinism, leucism, and isabellinism.
True albinos are unable to produce any kind of pigment, hence their white coloration and pink eyes: Blood vessels normally masked by eye color show through. (See "Pictures: Special Albinos and Unusually White Animals.")
Albinism is a recessive trait, meaning both parents must pass the mutation on to their offspring. Snowflake, an albino lowland gorilla, had parents that passed on copies of a gene found in other albino animals like mice, horses, and chickens.
Leucistic animals are mostly white but