Trivia

Hard

The Opposite Of Albinism Is Called?

Melanism
Velvetinism
Alopecia X
Vitiligo

Answer: Melanism

The most readily identifiable pigmentation disorder in both humans and animals is albinism. Nothing stands out in nature more than a creature best known for a dark and relatively camouflaged body, like a crocodile or deer, stark white against the greens and browns of their habitat.

While albinism is a genetic variation characterized by a complete or partial lack of pigmentation, melanism is a genetic variation found in animals characterized by hyperpigmentation. In the photo here, as an example, you can see two European adders, Vipera berus, side by side. The two snakes are from the exact same species but one, with melanism, is jet black.

Not all melanism is a one-off genetic quirk, like a random black snake in a brood. It can also be adaptive. The most widely taught example of adaptive evolution—the changes in the peppered moth in the United Kingdom during the industrial revolution—is an example of adaptive melanism. As soot from the increasing number of factories darkened everything in London from building exteriors to tree bark, the peppered moth slowly became “sooty” itself, as its offspring with darker and more peppered wings blended in better to the dirty environment. This type of adaptive evolution in response to pollution is common enough that it even has a name: “industrial melanism”.

Another well known example of melanism is that of black panthers and jaguars. Long thought to be distinct feline species, modern genetic testing has revealed that the black jaguars of the Americas are actually regular jaguars, Panthera onca, with melanism. The same for black panthers in Asia and Africa, which are leopards, Panthera pardus, with melanism.

Trivia

Hard

The Exclusive Caterpillar Club Is Composed Of?

Trivia

Hard

Modern Domestic Apples Originated In Which Country?

Trivia

Hard

Which U.S. Coin Has A Value Equal To Its Mass?

Trivia

Hard

Which Of These Planets Has A Moon With A Bobbing Orbit?

Trivia

Easy

The World’s Oldest Commissioned Naval Vessel Still Afloat Is The?

Trivia

Easy

What Was The First Commercial USB Flash Drive Called?

Trivia

Hard

The Primary Sound You Hear In Chewbacca’s Voice Is A?

Trivia

Easy

In Which Game Did Mario Make His First Appearance?

Trivia

Hard

What Animal Product Was Once Widely Used To Clarify Beer During Production?

Trivia

Hard

Which Of These Actors Has Appeared In Star Trek, Star Wars, And Doctor Who?