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

Very Hard

When Pluto Lost Its Designation As A Planet It Also Lost Its What?

Trivia

Hard

Snow Golf Was Invented By?

Trivia

Easy

Across The American South-West You’ll Find Massive Concrete Arrows That Were Intended To Guide?

Trivia

Hard

The Largest “Hidden Mickey” In The World Is A?

Trivia

Very Hard

The Rosetta Stone Is Inscribed With A Decree Regarding?

Trivia

Hard

The Blue Laser Lighting Inside The Egg Chamber In The Movie Alien Was Provided By?

Trivia

Hard

John Snow, “Father of Epidemiology”, Earned His Title By Determining The Source Of?

Trivia

Hard

Which Consumer Product Maintained An Unusually Stable Price For Almost A Century?

Trivia

Hard

Who Was The First Recipient Of Texting Slang “OMG!”?

Trivia

Easy

The First Movie Exhibition Spaces Were Called?