Are pink dolphins albino?

Answered by Jarrod Smith

Pink dolphins, also known as Amazon river dolphins or boto dolphins, are indeed considered to be albino. Despite their common name, these dolphins are not actually pink due to pigmentation, but rather because of their lack of pigmentation. Albino animals, including humans, have a genetic mutation that affects the production of melanin, the pigment responsible for coloration in the skin, hair, and eyes.

In the case of pink dolphins, their pink coloration is a result of the absence of melanin in their skin. This lack of pigmentation gives them a pale pink or even white appearance. It is important to note that not all pink dolphins are completely white or pink; some may have a slight pinkish hue, while others may have more prominent pink coloration.

The fact that the mother of a pink dolphin calf is not albino is not unusual. Albino individuals can be born to parents with normal pigmentation because the albino gene is recessive. This means that both parents must carry the albino gene for it to be expressed in their offspring. If only one parent carries the gene, the offspring will have a normal pigmentation.

When a pink dolphin calf is born, it typically has a dark gray coloration, similar to that of its mother and other coastal bottlenose dolphins. The pink coloration starts to appear as the calf grows older and the lack of pigmentation becomes more evident. This gradual transition from gray to pink is due to the development and maturation of the dolphin’s skin cells.

It is worth mentioning that pink dolphins are not the only species of dolphins that can exhibit albino characteristics. Albino individuals have been observed in various dolphin species, including bottlenose dolphins and orcas. These individuals share the same lack of pigmentation and can display similar pink or white coloration.

Pink dolphins are considered albino due to their lack of pigmentation, which results in their pink or white coloration. The fact that their mothers are not albino is not uncommon, as the albino gene is recessive. Pink dolphin calves are born with a dark gray coloration and gradually develop their pink hue as they grow older.