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The difference between Albinos and Piebalds..

Old 01-08-2006, 10:53 AM
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Default The difference between Albinos and Piebalds..

In another thread there seemed to be some confusion on this subject so I posted the folowing information to clarify the matter. Hopefully others will find this information useful as well.



DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ALBINOS/PIEBALDS..

Albinism isdue to alack of a specific pigment, (melanin)who's production is usually controlled by the pituary gland.A true albino will have all-white hair,grayish hoofs, and pink eyes.

The deer that hunters refer to as "piebald", are not true Albino's. In fact, the unique coloring of these deer is actually due toa genetic mutation. In many cases these deer suffer from other anatomical problems, in particular very poor hearing.

These deer may have patches of white, patches of "normal" coloration, frosted coats of silver or white mixed within the normal coat, freckles, spots and patches. Some piebalds are marked equally on both sides, others are very random. Some are all white,all have normal colored eyes, nose pads and/or hooves. In some cases the pieds will show other recessive abnormalities like sloped muzzle, bowed or short front legs, and palmated antlers, but others are completely normal with large antlers.


Due to these various traits the genetic disorder is not very common. Piebald deer are in general much easy to harvest by predators and hunters due to their inabilty to blend with natural cover and their other anatomical deformations.

One other relatively uncommon occurence is the naturally occuring white deer. These deer also are no albinos. The gene that results in all white deer is normally a recessive gene in most populations and thereforenon albino all-white deer are not a very common occurence.

One notable exception to this rule exist in a population of deer that have been allowed to reproduce in relative seclusion on NY's Senaca Army depot. In this population the gene thatresults inall white deer is actually expressed as the dominant gene within the population.

Hope this clears things up a little.
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Old 01-08-2006, 05:30 PM
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Default RE: The difference between Albinos and Piebalds..

They both taste the same to me ...
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Old 01-08-2006, 07:07 PM
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Default RE: The difference between Albinos and Piebalds..

The peice you posted was not authored from someone I would consider an authority, unfortunately. The deer in seneca army depot, for example, are not albino. They are all white deer.

Plain and simple...albinoism is the complete lack of pigment, melanin, to produce the color you see. Piebalds, on the other hand, are the result of a pigment disorder. Patches of white, patches of "normal" coloration, frosted coats of silver or white mixed within the normal coat, freckles, spots and patches. Some piebalds are marked equally on both sides, others are very random. Some are all white, yet have normal colored eyes, nose pads and/or hooves.

In some cases the pieds will show other recessive abnormalities like sloped muzzle, bowed or short front legs, and palmated antlers, but others are completely normal with large antlers.

Im not wanting to sound argumentive, but thought Id help out here.
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Old 01-08-2006, 07:45 PM
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Default RE: The difference between Albinos and Piebalds..

Thank you Bill,

In my haste to write/copy the original post I did in fact fail to explain the differences properly. This was my own fault, as I failed to condense the great deal of information I had into a smaller format.

For those that are interested, the sourceof this information is...
Leonard Lee Rue III's, The Deer of North America pgs181-183,248
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