Most Shocking Real Mutations In Animals
Animal mutations come in many forms. Sometimes they are genetic accidents or cross-bred hybrids. Other times these mutants are created by manmade disasters like Chernobyl’s or toxic waste runoff. Though these discoveries may seem stranger than fiction, these odd animals are real collections of animal mutations from around the world.
10 Mutated or De-Evolved Snake?
Animal Evolution is amazing, and when we see something we have never seen before it’s hard to tell if it’s a step into the future or a step into the past. Snakes have been around a long time, 100 million years before tyrannosaurus rex.
Those earliest snakes had already developed there special skulls that were very mobile and had teeth that curved backwards helping them hold onto wriggling prey, just like they today. Unlike modern snakes, the pre-historic version had 4 little legs.
They were probably cute, but would you want to run into one of these pre-historic snakes today? Well, a woman in southwest China got that opportunity in 2009. Mrs. Duan said she heard a strange scratching sound so she turned on the light and got out of bed, that’s when she saw this monster working its way along the wall using his claw" I would personally faint, but of joy!
9 Superpowered Salamander
Amphibians are unique because they live in water & on land. Frogs and Toads may come to mind but the second largest group of amphibians are the salamanders who spend most of their life in the water, not on lily pads. Salamanders come in all shapes and sizes but the biggest ones come from China, and if their appearance isn’t enough to creep you out this might. The giant salamander is known to vocalize using barks, whining, hissing, and crying sounds. The scary part is that they resemble the cries of a human child. So much so that its name translates to "infant fish" in Chinese. Though scary these salamanders have developed an amazing superpower.
Because these Chinese Giant Salamanders spend so much time in the water they have evolved to excrete a sticky gel-like substance all over their body to protect them while in the water. What makes the substances so special is its amazing healing abilities, ,plus it is so sticky that it can seal wounds better than most medical glues, sutures, and staples. Once applied it promotes rapid healing and leaves less scarring. Just don’t try to scrape it off the salamander yourself, though the smell alone will probably keep far far away from this gentle giant.
8 See Through Frogs
Some of these mutants are a result of genetic anomalies while others are the fault of mankind, unfortunately. Though nuclear disasters like Chernobyl & Fukushima have led to their fair share of human-caused animal mutations, they are still relatively rare occurrences. The bigger and more consistent threats to our environment are human-produced chemical waste.
An American visual artist, biologist & environmental educator in Louisiana decided to combine all of his skills to shine a light on the problem, literally. Brandon Ballengée collected deformed frogs from across the world and put them through a process where enzymes were used to make the skin clear and then dyes were injected to make the deformities stand out. His exhibit has been displayed in museums from Europe to the United States, not only as art but as a reminder of the damage we do to the environment when chemical waste goes unchecked.
7 Chernobyl’s Mutant Aftermath
The radioactive explosion at Russia’s Chernobyl’s nuclear power plant in 1986 destroyed the environment, and the animals in it, for over 100 miles away. 34 years later the animals don’t look mutated but that’s mainly because most of the originally mutated animals have long since passed. Though they don’t look it, this current generation of animals is indeed mutant. Studies have shown that genetic mutations in animals and plants have increased by a factor of 20. You can still see several cases of albinism & other genetic defects but the animals with extra limbs & other major visible mutations are for the most part gone.
6 The White Peacock
Peacocks are known for their large colorful feathers. Part of what makes then so impressive is the way they shine when the sunlight shines on them. The shine comes from microscopic crystal-like structures that cover the feathers and reflect different wavelengths of light depending on how the feathers are spaced. Not only is it a light show but scientists have found that it’s a musical show to, sort of. The peacock can shake its feathers creating a low-frequency sound, inaudible to humans, that attracts mates. But what does a peacock do if it’s lost its trademark coloration?
Contrary to popular belief not all peacocks are colorful. There 2 types of peacocks that are actually all white. Peacocks with leucism: partial loss of pigmentation or color, are not albinos. They still have blue eyes but have colored skin. If a white male breeds with a white female, all of the chicks will be white. They are a variety of Indian Blue peacock and can be seen around Southeast Asia. Albino peacocks, on the other hand, have a genetic mutation that causes a complete lack of pigmentation and pink or red eyes.
5 Qinling Panda Bears
Pandas are an adorable and very interesting group of animals. They have evolved very specifically to survive on a diet only made up of bamboo. Unfortunately bamboo is extremely hard and not very nutritious so they’ve had to evolve over millions of years to eat a lot of it. Which is fine if you are 100% panda & you’ve had time to evolve. But what happens if you’re not 100% Panda?
Sometimes interbreeding between groups can lead to animal mutants in the form of hybrids. That is what happened with the Qinling Bears. They are thought to be a cross between a Panda & some type of brown bear which is what gives them their unique brown patches. Unfortunately for them, their diet is exactly the same as a regular Panda, Bamboo. Being hybrids, they have some major disadvantages, the first being their smaller size lead to smaller jaw muscle, the biggest problem is that they are in serious need of a dentist. Unfortunately, their teeth are also hybrids and fracture much more easily on all bamboo diet. Its pretty simple, no teeth no food. Because of this Qinlin Pandas' life spans are on average 5-20 years vs a Pandas 15-20 year life span.
4 Faith The Miracle Dog
Animal parents may be extremely loving but they are also very practical especially within groups that give birth to multiple babies at a time, like dogs. This is the story of a deformed dog found at a flea market, rescued by a boy from a mother who was about to smother her pup. This is the story of how 1 life no matter how seemingly disadvantaged, can go on to affect many others for the better.
Faith, as she would be called, was taken to the vet who suggested the poor puppy be euthanized due to brain defect that also didn’t let her front legs fully form. Instead, the family decided to have her front legs amputated and trained Faith to rest by sitting up instead of laying down which could hurt her chest and neck over time. What came next surprised everyone, because of the balance she learned doing this Faith was actually able to teach herself to walk or hop upright like a person.
The best part was after some national exposure on TV shows like Oprah she became a symbol around the world for overcoming disabilities, especially to those in the military. She would visit soldiers in the hospital or returning home who had lost limbs in battle, to give them inspiration and love. Some people & animals are so happy and energetic that their joy for life is passed onto everybody around them, that was Faith, a constant source of happiness and positive energy to whoever was around her.
She was so embraced by the military community through here frequent visits to disabled veterans that she was given the name “Sergeant Faith” by the soldiers and even made an honorary Sergeant, which even included a ceremony which 4,000 troops attended. Unfortunately in 2014 Faith passed away peacefully surrounded by family, with her mom Jude Stringfellow by her side & a plate of cheese.
To keep Faith’s memory and message of hope alive Jude wrote a book titled, Faith, Walks: A Memoir of a Beautiful Life, and what a beautiful life it was.
3 Australian Human-Dog Hybrid
In Australia, they love their dogs just as much as the rest of the world, maybe more, maybe a lot more. There is nothing worse than having to choose between time with friends out and about or time with your furry friend having a relaxing day at home. An Australian named Patricia Piccini decided to intermix her 2 groups of friends, literally.
Take a little bit of your furry friend & a little bit of your human friends, and walla, just kidding. You may have seen this picture floating around the internet, despite many misleading titles & photos, it is not a human-dog hybrid, well not exactly.
It’s actually a sculpture named 'Leather Landscape' depicting a very lifelike looking human-dog hybrid. It’s made of leather, Silicone, acrylic, plywood, timber and to top it all off, literally, , human hair.
Some birth mutations are so common they get nicknamed in a time before people even understood biology apparently. Squittens are said to have gotten their names because people thought they were the offspring of a squirrel and a kitten. I don’t know if I believe this story but the names and the anatomy do seem to fit.
Squittens have a mutation called radial hypoplasia which stops their front paws from fully developing. In mild cases the cat to move around still utilizing its shorter front paws like a rabbit. In more extreme cases they move entirely on their hind legs and look like squirrels as they stand upright. They can live very full and enjoyable lives, they just look a little bit funny getting around the house.
1 Kenny The White Tiger
White tigers do not exist in nature. The purpose of a tiger’s orange and white coat with black stripping is to camouflage them in the brush while hunting. A white-coated tiger would stand out and reduce the prides ability to hunt successfully and survive, so where do white tigers come from?
Though gorgeous the thing most people don’t know about the white Tigers is that they are the product of generations of inbreeding. All of today's white lions come from the same original white lions. They got that way through selective inbreeding over generation to get rid of the orange fur.
Kenny represents the in-between steps we never got to see. A breeder decided to create is own white tiger linage so he could sell them and make a lot of money. To do so he had to start from scratch by selectively inbreeding lions. Unfortunately, the outcome was Kenny who had the desired white coat but also several physical deformities. It was falsely reported that Kenny had down syndrome, but the rescue workers at Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge who took Kenny in along with and his cross-eyed brother Willie said he appeared mentally normal. The 2 brothers, fortunately, got to live out a much happier life together at the rescue.
Adaptations to the environment, human pollution, and drastic climate changes have forced many species of animals to evolve, and in some cases to de-evolve, nature is wise and very flexible as we have discovered today. Although many of these animals have lost the capacity to live in the wild… It's our job to protect them, to keep them safe, and to preserve the habitat of those species that are still roaming freely.