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Rare albino alligators come to Paris aquarium

Feb. 14, 2014 at 12:10 PM   |   Comments

PARIS, Feb. 14 (UPI) -- Officials at a Paris aquarium announced the arrival of two young albino alligators, a rare reptile with a life expectancy of less than 24 hours in the wild.

The Aquarium de la Porte Doree announced the albino alligators, which are genetic abnormalities requiring both parents to carry the recessive albino gene, are about a year and a half old and are two of only about 50 living albino alligators in the world, Le Monde reported Friday.

Officials said albino alligators have a life expectancy of less than 24 hours when they are born in the wild because their white skin burns easily in the sun and makes them easy for predators to spot.

The aquarium said it is too soon to tell whether the alligators are male or female without an ultrasound. They said the animals can be sexed by checking their temperatures during the three-month period when eggs are incubated. The body temperatures of female gators will be colder than the males during that period.

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