What is an albino polar bear?


Quick Answer

Albino polar bears would differ from normal polar bears by having pink eyes, skin, noses and gums. To be an albino, a polar bear would need to inherit two copies of a recessive gene that interferes with the production of tyrosinase — an enzyme involved in the production of melanin.

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Full Answer

Albinism is unconfirmed in polar bears. Normal polar bears are not albino as they have dark eyes and black noses, skins and gums. Their white coloring is caused by light refracting through their hairs, which are actually clear and colorless. As a bear ages, scarring and residue on the fur can cause it to appear cream, yellow or even pinkish. In captivity, polar bears can turn pale green due to algae growing inside the hairs.

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