Last week I wrote about Tuxedo, an oddly coloured black and white squirrel who was well known in Toronto’s Annex area.
Tuxedo is an example of a piebald animal. Piebaldism means that the animal has a spotting pattern of unpigmented areas (usually white) mixed with normally pigmented areas (often black). Here are other examples:
Albinism in animals is a hereditary condition characterised by the absence of melanin.
Melanism is the opposite of albinism meaning that there is lots of the pigment melanin in the skin. A black squirrel is actually a melanistic Eastern grey squirrel.
Leucism is a condition in which there is a partial loss of pigmentation which gives the animal a pale or washed-out appearance. Here are some photos of a leucistic penguin that we encountered in Antarctica.