What are albino mice?


Quick Answer

Albino mice are one of the two white-colored varieties of the domesticated house mouse, Mus musculus, explains Wikipedia. The albino color in mice is more commonly known as pink-eyed white, which differentiates it from nonalbino black-eyed white mice. The pink-eyed white mouse is often used in laboratories as a test animal, although it is also commonly kept as a pet.

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Full Answer

Albinism in mice is the result of a single genetic color factor being lost, which leads to a loss of pigmentation in the skin, coat and eyes, according to the Scientific American. The recessive allele that removes the color factor causes the mouse to have white fur, pink skin and pink or red eyes.

The American Fancy Rat and Mouse Association (AFRMA) lists pink-eyed white mice as a recognized show-quality color under the "self" category. It describes this color as a clear, pure white with no yellowish or brown tinge. To be considered show-quality, the pink-eyed white (PEW) or albino mouse should have medium pink eyes rather than a deeper ruby or red. A pure white mouse with jet black eyes is considered a black-eyed white (BEW) rather than an albino, according to the AFRMA. The site also explains that the color should be even over the entire body including the under-parts, ears, tail and feet.

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