In 2006, a turtle watch group found a leucistic green sea turtle hatchling on Blacks Beach in Queensland, Australia. It was brought to the Reef HQ aquarium in Townsville. I was lucky enough to see him when he was a few months old, and it was an amazing animal. Unfortunatley, the online information I found about him said he died overnight in September 2007. I did find a youtube video of him swimming. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sZRfwcRdo5g
I am not a genetics expert but isn't albinoism a genetic defect? or is it just a color defect, what I am asking is will a, albino have more health problms and live shorter lives, or is it simply a color issue?
Genetics is far more complicated than that. Dominance, partial dominance, co-dominance, recession, incomplete dominance, linked genes, etc. Bottom line is, all genetic material comes in pairs. The pairs have the exact same function, but they are often slightly different. There may be many versions of the same gene, and each of these may or may not work the same.
Sometimes, you can tell that an animal has two copies which are identical. That's basically because some alleles [variants of a particular gene] are known to produce a visible result [like albinism or blue eyes] ONLY when both copies are the same. Knowing that, we can study a pedigree or do controlled breedings, and compare how the identified alleles AND the visible results are inherited. That allows us to identify how each allele works, which alleles an individual has, and the percentage chance of having a particular combination.
Frequently individuals question whether their reptile is a morph or not. IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll try to explain what defines a morph. Their are two requirements in identifying a morph; appearance and inheritance.
Distinct Color or Pattern Compared to the Wildtype Phenotype
The Wildtype (or Normal) appearance of any species of reptile can be highly variable. Slight differences in color and pattern are not uncommon. To be defined as a morph, their must be a significant difference in the color or pattern of the animal in question.
Determining if the look is reproducible is the second and most important topic on classifying whether it is a morph or not.
A gene that is phenotypically expressed in the homozygous state but has its expression masked in the presence of a dominant gene.
A recessive mutation will only be reproduced if both parents are expressing or carrying the morph gene. To determine by breeding trials whether or not the mutation is simple recessive, the morph must be bred to a Wildtype. Retain the offspring from the pairing, raise them up to breeding size and then breed them back to the morph parent. This is easiest done when you have a morph male to breed back to his daughters.