Trivia

Hard

The Opposite Of Albinism Is Called?

Alopecia X
Velvetinism
Vitiligo
Melanism

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

Which State Has The Highest Accuracy In Predicting Presidential Winners?

Trivia

Hard

Which Band Got Together Because the Members Were Running From a Gun Fight?

Trivia

Hard

Vocal Pauses Like “Uh” and “Um” Are Known As?

Trivia

Hard

Which Of These Films Was Inspired By A Super Bowl Commercial?

Trivia

Hard

Until The Mid-20th Century, It Was Customary For All New York City Residents To Do What On The Same Day?

Trivia

Hard

The Only People To Have Won an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Tony, and Pulitzer Prize Both Happen To Be?

Trivia

Hard

The Medical Term For The Numbness You Experience When A Limb “Falls Asleep” Is?

Trivia

Hard

What Is The Most Expensive Video Game In The World?

Trivia

Hard

Who Coined The Term “Battery” To Describe An Electrical Storage Unit?

Trivia

Easy

Residential Communities Where People Live With Their Planes And Direct Runway Access Are Called?