Dick Tan’s images show what looks like an albino Plantain Squirrel (Callosciurus notatus singapurensis). This has been confirmed by Nature Consultant Subaraj Rajathurai.
Albinism is caused by the absence of the pigment melanin as a result of mutation LINK. In this case, the squirrel does not show its usual colourful external features. Instead it appears pale yellow-brown LINK. The condition is confirmed by the eyes that appear pink or red in colour. This is because the lack of dark pigments allows the blood vessels in the eyes to show through.
When loss of pigmentation is partial, the animal can similarly look pale but the pigment cells of the eyes are not affected. Such a condition is known as leucistic.
9th November 2917
This post is a cooperative effort between Birds, Insects N Creatures Of Asia and BESG to bring the study of birds and their behavior through photography and videography to a wider audience.