Rare Pink Dolphin Photos - Analysis
Comments: I thank Captain Erik Rue of Calcasieu Charter Service in Lake Charles, LA for permission to reprint the foregoing pictures in their entirety. They are authentic, taken by him on June 24, 2007 and originally published on his Website.
Not to be confused with the Amazonian pink river dolphin (a different species altogether), the pinkish-white specimen sighted by Capt. Rue in Calcasieu Lake last June is an albino bottlenose dolphin. Though bottlenose dolphin sightings are common in the salt-water lake, albinos are "fairly rare," according to marine biologist Patricia Rosel, who told the Beaumont Enterprise there have only been three confirmed sightings in the past 15 years. Scientists are hoping to track the creature, variously described as "beautiful" and "pretty cute," for further study.
Albinism is a genetic disorder found in humans and many animal species wherein the skin cells are unable to produce melanin, the substance that provides pigmentation to bodily tissues.
Sources and further reading:
Rare 'Pink Dolphin' Photos
Via Capt. Erik Rue, Calcasieu Charter Service
A Pink Bottlenose Dolphin Calf Spotted in Louisiana
ESPNOutdoors.com, 2 July 2007
Albino Dolphin Spied Around Calcasieu Lake
Beaumont Enterprise, 21 July 2007
About.com: Animals / Wildlife
All About Albinism
Missouri Conservationist Online
List of Dolphin Species
Last updated: 03/01/09