Albino animals are fascinating, that’s something we can all agree on. We’ve seen albino or white whales, penguins, giraffes and even crocodiles. But have you ever seen an albino turtle?
Albinism in turtles is often different from that of other animals. When we hear ‘albino’ we think of the colour white, but albino turtles are different! They tend to still have one pigment present in their bodies, meaning they can appear yellow or red.
This makes them look like tiny fire-breathing dragons or fantastical creatures from a parallel universe. Our planet is far from boring; we just need to be patient and look for amazing things like these cool animals.
Without the camouflage that their normal colouration provides, albino turtles are more susceptible to predators. Because of this, their lifespan is shorter and therefore contributes to the rarity of their kind.
Despite this genetic disadvantage, turtles are lucky in the spectrum of albino animals. Due to the protection that their hard shell provides, they do typically live longer than other albino species—though their life is still shorter than a standard turtle.
One albino turtle that has caused a huge stir on the internet, in particular, is a pink belly side neck named Hope. Not only is this unique animal an albino, but she was also born with her heart beating on the outside of her body!
After she became an internet sensation, her owner Aqua Mike continued to take care of her. Hope turned 1 year old this November and we’re sure that she’ll celebrate plenty of birthdays to come.
“There are different types of turtles with albinism,” he specified. “Some may appear to be a solid yellow without many patternings on their turtle shells, like a red-eared slider, but the pink belly side necks are known to have pink on them when they aren’t albino, so that colour stays in the albino variant as well!”