Albino Polar Bear – Myth or reality
The albino polar bear, this certainly sounds like a strange concept. Because at the end of the day, what does set it apart from normal polar bears. Surely one can say the color of the eyes, the lack of pigmentation, the different skin color, and so many others. Do they, in actuality, pose as a disadvantage in their given environment and how well do albino polar bears contend with their normal brethren?
To understand all that we must dig deep into the very core of survival, natural selection, and albinism as a whole.
Like everything else in the universe, nature is susceptible to rare occurrences, known as a phenomenon. albinism is one such example of that phenomenon. By definition, albinism is the lack of pigmentation, in plants, animals, and humans. This absence of colorization can be observed in physical alterations such as white hair, pink or red eyes and so on. For some of the species out there, this phenomenon has proved as a major flaw, to the point of being lethal.
Wild animals need protection both from the sun and predators, that is why the color of the skin, plays a vital role in their survival. So in an instance where there is a lack of such protection (the absence of skin or hair color), they are either exposed to ultraviolet rays from the sun, or to a potential assault from the aforementioned predators.
Albino polar bear, is it a myth?
Some people tend to believe that such version of the polar bear, simply could not exist. It is speculated that the albino polar bear, can not withstand the crushing reality of natural selection. To make things clear, natural selection is like a “programme” of nature, which created the statement “survival of the fittest”. Thanks to this “programme”, animals and species with dominant traits, are the ones who get the chance to pass on their genes because they adapted in a way that allowed them to survive and thus reproduce.
So back to the albino polar bear. All polar bears have the common trait of black skin underneath that white fur. Because of that black skin, they can keep their bodies warm and heated, which allows them to survive the cold arctic weather of the north. Another note concerning their survival chances is the ultraviolet light, which has a deadly effect on other albinos.
The best example being albino alligators can survive to a maximum of 24 hours, which speaks volumes by itself on the threat. So when keeping all that in mind, is it really conceivable for an albino polar bear to exist? The answer is rather ambivalent.
It is generally assumed that it is indeed possible for an albino polar bear to survive even with all those disadvantages. Even though it should be way more vigilant compared to normal bears, the albino polar bear, will blend into the mold. In the end, both furs are white in color, so from an environmental point it should not be dangerous, the albino polar bear will also fade in its surroundings.
The ultraviolet rays may prove problematic, but even in the summer season in the artic there is not much sun, the best one can hope for, in terms of a good weather, is cloudy with a few sun rays here and there. The albino polar bear should be able to grow normally and reach the point of reproduction with a moderate level of difficulty. Unlike other albino animals, which are in a huge disadvantage given biomes of forests, jungles, savannas and so on.
In conclusion, the albino polar bear, while it may be a rare sight to behold, it most certainly roams out there in the arctic wastelands of the north. Beyond a shadow of a doubt, they are enjoying their lives to the fullest, given the fact that they have indeed pulled the lucky card in terms of surroundings. If only, other albino animals were so lucky, who knows maybe in the future there will be more, only time will tell for sure!