Friday, May 17, 2013

White Tiger Under Water

Odin the White Tiger (Panthera tigris) is a tiger with a genetic condition that nearly eliminates pigment in the normally orange fur although they still have dark stripes. This occurs when a tiger inherits two copies of the recessive gene for the paler coloration: pink nose, grey-mottled skin, ice-blue eyes, and white to cream-coloured fur with black, grey, or chocolate-coloured stripes. (Another genetic condition also makes the stripes of the tiger very pale; white tigers of this type are called snow-white.)

White tigers do not constitute a separate subspecies of their own and can breed with orange ones, although all of the resulting offspring will be heterozygous for the recessive white gene, and their fur will be orange. The only exception would be if the orange parent was itself already a heterozygous tiger, which would give each cub a 50% chance of being either double-recessive white or heterozygous orange.

These incredible photos of a White Bengal Tiger named Odin.

Odin is six years old and 10 feet long from tail to nose.

Odin lives at a Zoo in Vallejo, California, near San Francisco .

Odin with his British trainer Lee Munro.

Odin was hand-raised at the zoo. And after he was weaned,

his British trainer Lee Munro discovered his remarkable skill.

When a lump of meat was thrown into a pool of water, Odin

would happily dive in after it.

He makes a funny face - and its actually to close his nostrils

to stop the water from going into his nose.

Not all big cats enjoy the water but for Tigers from the hot

climate of South-East Asia its one way to cool down.

Plus they hunt in and around water. Theyre an ambush

predator so they wait for prey to come down to the water.

When you actually see him dive underwater he looks

so graceful,

Odin loves the water and he loves food, he said. Not

all big cats will dive and swim underwater even for meat treats.

Munro said tigers were the most powerful swimmers

out of all land-dwelling animals.

Tragically, within our lifetimes, zoos might be the

only places left to see these magnificent animals.

A century ago there were about 100,000 tigers in

the wild. Now there are just 2,500 adults, with the

Bengal variety almost extinct. None has been seen

in the wild since the last white tiger was shot and killed in 1958.

White tigers are the most rare. They get their whitecolor

from an unusual and extremely rare genetic combination.


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