So apparently, pink dolphins are real. And one of them has been spotted frequently in Louisiana, to the point where she has been named “Pinky” by those in the area. There are plenty of pictures with pinky and her other dolphin crew.
While for a while no one could figure out just why the dolphin was pink, National Geographic has a theory: Pinky is actually an albino. Albinos lack the pigment known as melanin, which causes their skin to be very pale – a true albino will also have red blood vessels that show through their skin, as well as red eyes. Pinky has both of these, lending further evidence to this theory.
Albinos are very rare in the wild, because it is caused by a recessive gene mutation, meaning that both genes possessed by the creature must be the recessive form – which is very unlikely. While Pinky’s parents probably looked normal, they would have had to carry the recessive form of the gene for her to end up the way she did.
Pinky was found first along the Calcasieu River in Louisiana, in 2007. Since then she has been sighted multiple times throughout the years, and this year she was even spotted mating. This makes those who know about Pinky think that she may be a female.
There could be baby Pinky’s on the way, but no one knows for certain. Even if Pinky is pregnant, it is unlikely that the babies will be albinos, unless she mated with either a carrier of that form of the gene or in fact mated with another albino, which seems just as unlikely. If she did find a carrier of the gene, however, the babies will have a 50-50% chance of being an albino like their supposed mother.
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All we can do now is just revel in the fact that there are, in fact, dolphins out in the wild that look like a stick of bubblegum, and wait to see if Pinky has babies!
Photos: Erik Rue