Trivia

Hard

The Opposite Of Albinism Is Called?

Velvetinism
Melanism
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

What Did The Inventor Of The Pet Rock Later Try To Sell Americans Bit By Bit?

Trivia

Hard

The Best Known Example Of A Lazarus Taxon (A Species Believed Extinct But Not) Is The?

Trivia

Hard

The First Metal To Be Used By Humankind Was?

Trivia

Hard

U.S. Currency Is Printed Using A Technique Known As?

Trivia

Very Hard

Which Astronaut’s First Moonwalk Words Were Intended To Settle A Bet?

Trivia

Very Hard

The Ray Charles Foundation Providers Charitable Grants For Research Into?

Trivia

Hard

The Phrase “A-OK” To Indicate Everything Is Alright Was Introduced To Popular Culture By?

Trivia

Easy

Which Of These Rock Bands Is Named After An English Agriculturalist?

Trivia

Hard

Which Band Derives Its Name From A Unit Of Measurement?

Trivia

Very Hard

Which Video Game Had The Highest Per-Copy Cost?