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Published on : Friday, July 24, 2015
Atlantis, The Palm has announced the highly anticipated arrival of its newest residents- two albino alligators. Appearing for the first time in the UAE, the uncommon reptiles have taken up residence in the Lost Chambers Aquarium, home to more than 65,000 marine animals, dazzling guests and visitors with their brilliant white skin.
“Our goal at Atlantis is to educate guests on different aquatic animals and to provide the best marine animal experiences in the world,” says Natasha Christie, Director, The Lost Chambers Aquarium.
“After many months of research and careful consideration, The Lost Chambers Aquarium team decided to add these two rare albino alligators having received from a farm in Florida. Albino alligators are the rarest amongst their cold-blooded relatives and are found in USA and in China. Their genetic white skin color gives them a truly intriguing appearance. The albino alligators have been exploited for their valued skin. This rare type of Alligator is a critically endangered species, and it is our aim to do our part in species conservation by learning more about these fascinating reptiles, and taking care of them”, Natasha added.
The two reptiles are found now at The Lost Chambers Aquarium for public display after they have completed their quarantine period.
“The Albino Alligator is a rare type of alligator which would not survive in the wild and is often exploited for its valued skin. It is our aim that by learning more about these fascinating reptiles, we can conserve this critically endangered species,” Christie added.
An alligator’s lifespan is estimated to be 50 years or more. Described as ‘living fossils”, alligators have lived on Earth for millions of years. Only two countries have native alligators, the United States and China. American alligators live in south eastern areas, such as Florida and Louisiana. Albino alligators lack the ability to produce melanin in their skin. This genetic defect gives their skin a creamy white appearance and the eyes generally cast a pinkish hue due to the visible blood vessels in the colorless irises. This lack of pigment, though viewed as beautiful, has its downside. Most albino alligators rarely make it to adulthood because they are not able to camouflage themselves, making them an easy target in the wild. Their skin is said to be extremely sensitive to sunlight, and excessive sun can burn their skin. Myth has it that if you look into the eyes of an albino alligator it will brings good luck.
The newcomers’ chamber has been equipped with special heat lamps which give a temperature gradient of between 26-33 Degrees Celsius.