Tuesday, January 11, 2011

A Is For

one of the blogs I read regularly has a friend who has started The Alphabet Project.  I followed the link, and what you do is to take a photo of something that begins with each latter of the alphabet, much like the ABC Project of a few years ago.

Being that blog fodder can sometimes be lacking, I decided to join in.  So, here we go.

A is for amelanistic corn snake. 


This is Sunset, or Sunny as he is fondly known around here.  He is an amelanistic corn snake, which means he lacks the gene for melanin. 

A wild type corn snake will have black rings round his red splotches, like this.


Amelanistic corns lack all black coloration.  They are sometimes called albino corn snakes, but when one thinks of an albino, one thinks of a creature which lacks all pigment.  Newcomers to snakedom will sometimes ask why an albino corn snake isn't pure white.  The answer is that in the snakey genetics, albino --or more correctly amelanism-- removes only the melanin, the black pigment.  The snake will still have the genes for red and yellow pigments. 

I hope you've enjoyed this romp through the fascinating world of snake genetics.  It's given me a headache.

.Now comes the hard part--remembering to post on the assigned dates!

P.S.  Sharp eyed readers may notice that Sunny's eye looks a little cloudy.  There is nothing wrong with him.  When a snake is preparing to shed, fluid builds up between the old skin and the new skin, making the entire snake take on a bluish cast.  This first becomes obvious in the eyes.   Soon, he will have bright eyes again, and a bright new skin to go with them.

7 comments:

Lorri said...

What a cool snake (and I'm not really a snake person)! Thanks for joining the Alphabet Project. :)

Dale said...

Interesting project! I'm afraid I would have a difficult time when it got to XYZ! Have fun with it and I will be watching!

Sus said...

I did not know that about snakes' eyes becoming cloudy in preparation of molting! That's a cool cue and a totally fun fact!!! :)

Becky said...

Lorri, thanks!

Dale, therein lies the challenge! It'll be interesting to see what I can some up with for the more difficult letters.

Sus, the eyes are just the first clue. The whole snake will turn a bluish color before he sheds.

Patti said...

So where's B through Z? Or is this a long-term project? ;)

Becky said...

It's a long term project. A new photo will go up approximately every two weeks throughout the year. The next one is due, I think Monday the 24th. I'll have to check.

Tami said...

Thanks for the great facts about Sunny. Very cool.

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