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Captive White Tiger (2019)
Image by pedrosimoes7
Lisbon Zoological Garden, Sete Rios, Lisbon, Portugal
ABOUT THE WHITE TIGER
The white tiger or bleached tiger is a pigmentation variant of the Bengal tiger, which is reported in the wild from time to time in the Indian states of Madhya Pradesh, Assam, West Bengal and Bihar in the Sunderbans region and especially in the former State of Rewa. Such a tiger has the black stripes typical of the Bengal tiger, but carries a white or near-white coat.
The white Bengal tigers are distinctive due to the color of their fur. The white fur caused by a lack of the pigment pheomelanin, which is found in Bengal tigers with orange color fur. When compared to Bengal tigers, the white Bengal tigers tend to grow faster and heavier than the orange Bengal tiger. They also tend to be somewhat bigger at birth, and as fully grown adults. White Bengal tigers are fully grown when they are 2–3 years of age. White male tigers reach weights of 200 to 230 kilograms (440 to 510 lb) and can grow up to 3 meters (9.8 ft) in length. As with all tigers, the white Bengal tiger’s stripes are like fingerprints, with no two tigers having the same pattern. The stripes of the tiger are a pigmentation of the skin; if an individual were to be shaved, its distinctive coat pattern would still be visible.
For a white Bengal tiger to be born, both parents must carry the unusual gene for white colouring, which only happens naturally about once in 10,000 births. Dark-striped white individuals are well-documented in the Bengal tiger subspecies (Panthera tigris tigris) as well as having been reported historically in several other subspecies. Currently, several hundred white tigers are in captivity worldwide, with about one hundred being found in India. Their unique white color fur has made them popular in entertainment showcasing exotic animals, and at zoos.
A tiger with almost no stripes at The Mirage in Las Vegas, the United States of America
An additional genetic condition can remove most of the striping of a white tiger, making the animal almost pure white. One such specimen was exhibited at Exeter Change in England in 1820, and described by Georges Cuvier as "A white variety of Tiger is sometimes seen, with the stripes very opaque, and not to be observed except in certain angles of light." Naturalist Richard Lydekker said that, "a white tiger, in which the fur was of a creamy tint, with the usual stripes faintly visible in certain parts, was exhibited at the old menagerie at Exeter Change about the year 1820." Hamilton Smith said, "A wholly white tiger, with the stripe-pattern visible only under reflected light, like the pattern of a white tabby cat, was exhibited in the Exeter Change Menagerie in 1820.", and John George Wood stated that, "a creamy white, with the ordinary tigerine stripes so faintly marked that they were only visible in certain lights." Edwin Henry Landseer also drew this tigress in 1824.
The modern strain of snow white tigers came from repeated brother–sister matings of Bhim and Sumita at Cincinnati Zoo. The gene involved may have come from a Siberian tiger, via their part-Siberian ancestor Tony. Continued inbreeding appears to have caused a recessive gene for stripelessness to show up. About one fourth of Bhim and Sumita’s offspring were stripeless. Their striped white offspring, which have been sold to zoos around the world, may also carry the stripeless gene. Because Tony’s genome is present in many white tiger pedigrees, the gene may also be present in other captive white tigers. As a result, stripeless white tigers have appeared in zoos as far afield as the Czech Republic (Liberec), Spain and Mexico. Stage magicians Siegfried & Roy were the first to attempt to selectively breed tigers for stripelessness; they owned snow-white Bengal tigers taken from Cincinnati Zoo (Tsumura, Mantra, Mirage and Akbar-Kabul) and Guadalajara, Mexico (Vishnu and Jahan), as well as a stripeless Siberian tiger called Apollo.
In 2004, a blue-eyed, stripeless white tiger was born in a wildlife refuge in Alicante, Spain. Its parents are normal orange Bengals. The cub was named "Artico" ("Arctic").
A white tiger’s pale coloration is due to the lack of the red and yellow pheomelanin pigments that normally produce the orange colouration. This had long been thought to be due to a mutation in the gene for the tyrosinase enzyme. A knockout mutation in this gene results in albinism, the inability to make either pheomelanin (red and yellow pigments) or eumelanin (black and brown pigments), while a less severe mutation in the same gene in other mammals results in selective loss of pheomelanin, the so-called Chinchilla trait. The white phenotype in tigers had been attributed to such a Chinchilla mutation in tyrosinase, and in the past white tigers were sometimes referred to as ‘partial albinos’. However, whole-genome sequencing of normal and white tigers demonstrated instead that a naturally-occurring point mutation in the SLC45A2 gene is responsible. The resultant single amino acid substitution introduces an alanine residue that protrudes into the transport protein’s central passageway, apparently blocking it, and by a mechanism yet to be determined this prevents pheomelanin expression in the fur. Mutations in the same gene are known to underlie the cream colouration of horses and play a role in the paler skin of humans of European descent. This is a recessive trait, meaning that it is only seen in individuals that are homozygous for this mutation, but those white tigers can be bred from any coloured Bengal tiger pair each possessing the unique mutation. Inbreeding promotes recessive traits and has been used as a strategy to produce white tigers in captivity, but this has also resulted in a range of other genetic defects.
The stripe colour varies due to the influence and interaction of other genes. Another genetic characteristic makes the stripes of the tiger very pale; white tigers of this type are called snow-white or "pure white". White tigers, Siamese cats, and Himalayan rabbits have enzymes in their fur which react to temperature, causing them to grow darker in the cold. A white tiger named Mohini was whiter than her relatives in the Bristol Zoo, who showed more cream tones. This may have been because she spent less time outdoors in the winter. Kailash Sankhala observed that white tigers were always whiter in Rewa State, even when they were born in New Delhi and returned there. "In spite of living in a dusty courtyard, they were always snow white." A weakened immune system is directly linked to reduced pigmentation in white tigers.
Outside of India, inbred white tigers have been prone to crossed eyes, a condition known as strabismus, due to incorrectly routed visual pathways in the brains of white tigers. When stressed or confused, all white tigers cross their eyes. Strabismus is associated with white tigers of mixed Bengal x Siberian ancestry. The only pure-Bengal white tiger reported to be cross-eyed was Mohini’s daughter Rewati. Strabismus is directly linked to the white gene and is not a separate consequence of inbreeding.
A DEFORMED TIGER
The orange litter-mates of white tigers are not prone to strabismus. Siamese cats and albinos of every species which have been studied all exhibit the same visual pathway abnormality found in white tigers. Siamese cats are also sometimes cross-eyed, as are some albino ferrets. The visual pathway abnormality was first documented in white tigers in the brain of a white tiger called Moni after he died, although his eyes were of normal alignment. The abnormality is that there is a disruption in the optic chiasm. The examination of Moni’s brain suggested the disruption is less severe in white tigers than it is in Siamese cats. Because of the visual pathway abnormality, by which some optic nerves are routed to the wrong side of the brain, white tigers have a problem with spatial orientation and bump into things until they learn to compensate. Some tigers compensate by crossing their eyes. When the neurons pass from the retina to the brain and reach the optic chiasma, some cross and some do not, so that visual images are projected to the wrong hemisphere of the brain. White tigers cannot see as well as normal tigers and suffer from photophobia, like albinos.
Other genetic problems include shortened tendons of the forelegs, club foot, kidney problems, arched or crooked backbone and twisted neck. Reduced fertility and miscarriages, noted by "tiger man" Kailash Sankhala in pure-Bengal white tigers, were attributed to inbreeding depression. A condition known as "star-gazing" (the head and neck are raised almost straight up as if the affected animal is gazing at the stars), which is associated with inbreeding in big cats, has also been reported in white tigers. Some white tigers born to North American lines have bulldog faces with a snub nose, jutting jaw, domed head and wide-set eyes with an indentation between the eyes. However, some of these traits may be linked to poor diet rather than inbreeding.
There was a 200 kg (450 lb) male cross-eyed white tiger at the Pana’ewa Rainforest Zoo in Hawaii, which was donated to the zoo by Las Vegas magician Dirk Arthur. There is a picture of a white tiger which appears to be cross-eyed on just one side in Siegfried & Roy’s book Mastering The Impossible. A white tiger, named Scarlett O’Hara, who was Tony’s sister, was cross-eyed only on the right side.
A male tiger named ‘Cheytan’, a son of Bhim and Sumita who was born at the Cincinnati Zoo, died at the San Antonio Zoo in 1992, from anaesthesia complications during root canal therapy. It appears that white tigers also react strangely to anaesthesia. The best drug for immobilizing a tiger is CI 744, but a few tigers, white ones, in particular, undergo a re-sedation effect 24–36 hours later. This is due to their inability to produce normal tyrosinase, a trait they share with albinos, according to zoo veterinarian David Taylor. He treated a pair of white tigers from the Cincinnati Zoo at Fritz Wurm’s safari park in Stukenbrock, Germany, for salmonella poisoning, which reacted strangely to the anaesthesia.
Mohini was checked for Chédiak-Higashi syndrome in 1960, but the results were inconclusive. This condition is similar to albino mutations and causes bluish lightening of the fur colour, crossed eyes, and prolonged bleeding after surgery. Also, in the event of an injury, the blood is slow to coagulate. This condition has been observed in domestic cats, but there has never been a case of a white tiger having Chédiak-Higashi syndrome. There has been a single case of a white tiger having central retinal degeneration, reported from the Milwaukee County Zoo, which could be related to reduced pigmentation in the eye. The white tiger in question was a male named Mota on loan from the Cincinnati Zoo.
There is a myth that white tigers have an 80% infant mortality rate. However, the infant mortality rate for white tigers is no higher than it is for normal orange tigers bred in captivity. Cincinnati Zoo director Ed Maruska said: "We have not experienced premature death among our white tigers. Forty-two animals born in our collection are still alive. Mohan, a large white tiger, died just short of his 20th birthday, an enviable age for a male of any subspecies since most males live shorter captive lives. Premature deaths in other collections may be artefacts of captive environmental conditions…in 52 births we had four stillbirths, one of which was an unexplained loss. We lost two additional cubs from viral pneumonia, which is not excessive. Without data from non-inbred tiger lines, it is difficult to determine whether this number is high or low with any degree of accuracy." Ed Maruska also addressed the issue of deformities: "Other than a case of hip dysplasia that occurred in a male white tiger, we have not encountered any other body deformities or any physiological or neurological disorders. Some of these reported maladies in mutant tigers in other collections may be a direct result of inbreeding or improper rearing management of tigers generally."
INBREEDING AND OUTCROSSING
Because of the extreme rarity of the white tiger allele in the wild, the breeding pool was limited to the small number of white tigers in captivity. According to Kailash Sankhala, the last white tiger ever seen in the wild was shot in 1958. Today there is a large number of white tigers in captivity. A white Amur tiger may have been born at Center Hill and has given rise to a strain of white Amur tigers. A man named Robert Baudy realized that his tigers had white genes when a tiger he sold to Marwell Zoo in England developed white spots, and bred them accordingly. The Lowry Park Zoo in Tampa Bay has four of these white Amur tigers, descended from Robert Baudy’s stock.
It has also been possible to expand the white-gene pool by outcrossing white tigers with unrelated orange tigers and then using the cubs to produce more white tigers. The white tigers Ranjit, Bharat, Priya and Bhim were all outcrossed, in some instances to more than one tiger. Bharat was bred to an unrelated orange tiger named Jack from the San Francisco Zoo and had an orange daughter named Kanchana. Bharat and Priya were also bred with an unrelated orange tiger from Knoxville Zoo, and Ranjit was bred to this tiger’s sister, also from Knoxville Zoo. Bhim fathered several litters with an unrelated orange tigress named Kimanthi at the Cincinnati Zoo. ankam Ranjeeth had several mates at the Omaha Zoo.
The last descendants of Bristol Zoo’s white tigers were a group of orange tigers from outcrosses which were bought by a Pakistani senator and shipped to Pakistan. Rajiv, Pretoria Zoo’s white tiger, who was born in the Cincinnati Zoo, was also outcrossed and sired at least two litters of orange cubs at Pretoria Zoo. Outcrossing is not necessarily done with the intent of producing more white cubs by resuming inbreeding further down the line. Outcrossing is a way of bringing fresh blood into the white strain. The New Delhi Zoo loaned out white tigers to some of India’s better zoos for outcrossing, and the government had to impose a whip to force zoos to return either the white tigers or their orange offspring.
A BENGAL TIGER AT THE CINCINNATI ZOO
Siegfried & Roy performed at least one outcross. In the mid-1980s they offered to work with the Indian government in the creation of a healthier strain of white tigers. The Indian government reportedly considered the offer; however, India had a moratorium on breeding white tigers after cubs were born at New Delhi Zoo with arched backs and clubbed feet, necessitating euthanasia. Siegfried & Roy have bred white tigers in collaboration with the Nashville Zoo.
Because of the inbreeding and resulting genetic defects, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums barred member zoos from breeding white tigers, white lions and king cheetahs in a white paper adopted by the board of directors in July 2011. It is noteworthy that the first person to speak out against the displaying of white tigers was William G. Conway, General Director of the New York Zoological Society, which later became known as the Wildlife Conservation Society when he said, "White tigers are freaks. It’s not the role of a zoo to show two-headed calves and white tigers." He warned AZA in 1983 of the harm to the zoo’s credibility in catering to the public’s fascination with freaks but went unheeded until 2008 when AZA issued a request to their members to stop breeding white tigers and then later in July 2011 when the AZA formally adopted that stance as policy. Conway was attacked by Ed Maruska of the Cincinnati Zoo for his observation, but in the end, Conway’s belief was validated.
IN POPULAR CULTURE
White tigers appear frequently in literature, video games, television, and comic books. Such examples include the Swedish rock band Kent, which featured a white tiger on the cover of their best-selling album Vapen & ammunition in 2002. This was a tribute to the band’s home town Eskilstuna, as the local zoo in town had white tigers from the Hawthorn Circus as its main attraction. The white tiger has also been featured in the video for the song "Human" by the popular American synth-rock band The Killers. White Tiger is also the name of an American glam metal band from the 1980s. In the live-action version of Disney’s 101 Dalmatians, Cruella de Vil kills a white tiger for its fur. Seto Bagh (or ‘White Tiger’ in English) is a Nepali language novel by Diamond Shumsher Rana about an encounter with a white tiger. Aravind Adiga’s novel The White Tiger won the Man Booker Prize in 2008. The central character and narrator refers to himself as "The White Tiger". It was a nickname given to him as a child to denote that he was unique in the "jungle" (his hometown), that he was smarter than the others. White Tigers is also the name of a Czech hockey team, that competes in the Czech Extraliga.
Video games including white tigers include Zoo Tycoon, the Warcraft universe, and Perfect World International. White tigers are featured as a wild, tamable "pet" companion in Guild Wars Factions. White tigers are also seen in Heroes of Might and Magic IV. The protector of the mystical world of Shangri-La in Far Cry 4 is a white tiger that allies with the protagonist to defeat demons.
Both the Power Rangers and the Japanese Super Sentai series on which the Power Rangers series is based, have had white tiger themed Rangers and mecha. A trained white tiger from the Bowmanville Zoo in Ontario, Canada, was used in the Animorphs TV series. A superhero named White Tiger appears in "The Justice Friends" in Dexter’s Laboratory. A white tiger named White Blaze is frequently shown in the anime Ronin Warriors. Tigatron from the animated TV series Transformers: Beast Wars is based on the white tiger. There have been at least four heroes in Marvel comics called "The White Tiger": two gained powers from a group of three mystic amulets that they possessed, one was actually a tigress evolved by the High Evolutionary, and one was given an artificial version of the "Black Panther’s Heart-Shaped Herb".
Kylie Chan’s Dark Heavens series incorporates the four winds of Chinese mythology – including The White Tiger. In Hayate, the Combat Butler, Tama, Nagi Sanzenin’s pet tiger, is a white tiger. In Colleen Houck’s series beginning with the novel Tiger’s Curse, one of the main characters, Ren, is shown as a white tiger. In 2013, a white tiger used for an election campaign in Lahore, Pakistan, died of dehydration. A white tiger named Mantecore was used as part of Siegfried & Roy’s Siegfried & Roy at the Mirage Resort and Casino magical show. In 2014, Mantecore died at the age of 17 due to illness.
Some cool herbs for weight loss images:
Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center: Photomontage of Overview of the south hangar, including B-29 “Enola Gay” and Concorde
Image by Chris Devers
Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center: South hangar panorama, including gangplank
Image by Chris Devers
Quoting Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum | Boeing 367-80 Jet Transport:
On July 15, 1954, a graceful, swept-winged aircraft, bedecked in brown and yellow paint and powered by four revolutionary new engines first took to the sky above Seattle. Built by the Boeing Aircraft Company, the 367-80, better known as the Dash 80, would come to revolutionize commercial air transportation when its developed version entered service as the famous Boeing 707, America’s first jet airliner.
In the early 1950s, Boeing had begun to study the possibility of creating a jet-powered military transport and tanker to complement the new generation of Boeing jet bombers entering service with the U.S. Air Force. When the Air Force showed no interest, Boeing invested million of its own capital to build a prototype jet transport in a daring gamble that the airlines and the Air Force would buy it once the aircraft had flown and proven itself. As Boeing had done with the B-17, it risked the company on one roll of the dice and won.
Boeing engineers had initially based the jet transport on studies of improved designs of the Model 367, better known to the public as the C-97 piston-engined transport and aerial tanker. By the time Boeing progressed to the 80th iteration, the design bore no resemblance to the C-97 but, for security reasons, Boeing decided to let the jet project be known as the 367-80.
Work proceeded quickly after the formal start of the project on May 20, 1952. The 367-80 mated a large cabin based on the dimensions of the C-97 with the 35-degree swept-wing design based on the wings of the B-47 and B-52 but considerably stiffer and incorporating a pronounced dihedral. The wings were mounted low on the fuselage and incorporated high-speed and low-speed ailerons as well as a sophisticated flap and spoiler system. Four Pratt & Whitney JT3 turbojet engines, each producing 10,000 pounds of thrust, were mounted on struts beneath the wings.
Upon the Dash 80’s first flight on July 15, 1954, (the 34th anniversary of the founding of the Boeing Company) Boeing clearly had a winner. Flying 100 miles per hour faster than the de Havilland Comet and significantly larger, the new Boeing had a maximum range of more than 3,500 miles. As hoped, the Air Force bought 29 examples of the design as a tanker/transport after they convinced Boeing to widen the design by 12 inches. Satisfied, the Air Force designated it the KC-135A. A total of 732 KC-135s were built.
Quickly Boeing turned its attention to selling the airline industry on this new jet transport. Clearly the industry was impressed with the capabilities of the prototype 707 but never more so than at the Gold Cup hydroplane races held on Lake Washington in Seattle, in August 1955. During the festivities surrounding this event, Boeing had gathered many airline representatives to enjoy the competition and witness a fly past of the new Dash 80. To the audience’s intense delight and Boeing’s profound shock, test pilot Alvin "Tex" Johnston barrel-rolled the Dash 80 over the lake in full view of thousands of astonished spectators. Johnston vividly displayed the superior strength and performance of this new jet, readily convincing the airline industry to buy this new airliner.
In searching for a market, Boeing found a ready customer in Pan American Airway’s president Juan Trippe. Trippe had been spending much of his time searching for a suitable jet airliner to enable his pioneering company to maintain its leadership in international air travel. Working with Boeing, Trippe overcame Boeing’s resistance to widening the Dash-80 design, now known as the 707, to seat six passengers in each seat row rather than five. Trippe did so by placing an order with Boeing for 20 707s but also ordering 25 of Douglas’s competing DC-8, which had yet to fly but could accommodate six-abreast seating. At Pan Am’s insistence, the 707 was made four inches wider than the Dash 80 so that it could carry 160 passengers six-abreast. The wider fuselage developed for the 707 became the standard design for all of Boeing’s subsequent narrow-body airliners.
Although the British de Havilland D.H. 106 Comet and the Soviet Tupolev Tu-104 entered service earlier, the Boeing 707 and Douglas DC-8 were bigger, faster, had greater range, and were more profitable to fly. In October 1958 Pan American ushered the jet age into the United States when it opened international service with the Boeing 707 in October 1958. National Airlines inaugurated domestic jet service two months later using a 707-120 borrowed from Pan Am. American Airlines flew the first domestic 707 jet service with its own aircraft in January 1959. American set a new speed mark when it opened the first regularly-scheduled transcontinental jet service in 1959. Subsequent nonstop flights between New York and San Francisco took only 5 hours – 3 hours less than by the piston-engine DC-7. The one-way fare, including a surcharge for jet service, was 5.50, or 1 round trip. The flight was almost 40 percent faster and almost 25 percent cheaper than flying by piston-engine airliners. The consequent surge of traffic demand was substantial.
The 707 was originally designed for transcontinental or one-stop transatlantic range. But modified with extra fuel tanks and more efficient turbofan engines, the 707-300 Intercontinental series aircraft could fly nonstop across the Atlantic with full payload under any conditions. Boeing built 855 707s, of which 725 were bought by airlines worldwide.
Having launched the Boeing Company into the commercial jet age, the Dash 80 soldiered on as a highly successful experimental aircraft. Until its retirement in 1972, the Dash 80 tested numerous advanced systems, many of which were incorporated into later generations of jet transports. At one point, the Dash 80 carried three different engine types in its four nacelles. Serving as a test bed for the new 727, the Dash 80 was briefly equipped with a fifth engine mounted on the rear fuselage. Engineers also modified the wing in planform and contour to study the effects of different airfoil shapes. Numerous flap configurations were also fitted including a highly sophisticated system of "blown" flaps which redirected engine exhaust over the flaps to increase lift at low speeds. Fin height and horizontal stabilizer width was later increased and at one point, a special multiple wheel low pressure landing gear was fitted to test the feasibility of operating future heavy military transports from unprepared landing fields.
After a long and distinguished career, the Boeing 367-80 was finally retired and donated to the Smithsonian in 1972. At present, the aircraft is installated at the National Air and Space Museum’s new facility at Washington Dulles International Airport.
Gift of the Boeing Company
Boeing Aircraft Co.
Country of Origin:
United States of America
Height 19′ 2": Length 73′ 10": Wing Span 129′ 8": Weight 33,279 lbs.
Prototype Boeing 707; yellow and brown.
• • • • •
Boeing’s B-29 Superfortress was the most sophisticated propeller-driven bomber of World War II and the first bomber to house its crew in pressurized compartments. Although designed to fight in the European theater, the B-29 found its niche on the other side of the globe. In the Pacific, B-29s delivered a variety of aerial weapons: conventional bombs, incendiary bombs, mines, and two nuclear weapons.
On August 6, 1945, this Martin-built B-29-45-MO dropped the first atomic weapon used in combat on Hiroshima, Japan. Three days later, Bockscar (on display at the U.S. Air Force Museum near Dayton, Ohio) dropped a second atomic bomb on Nagasaki, Japan. Enola Gay flew as the advance weather reconnaissance aircraft that day. A third B-29, The Great Artiste, flew as an observation aircraft on both missions.
Transferred from the United States Air Force.
Country of Origin:
United States of America
Overall: 900 x 3020cm, 32580kg, 4300cm (29ft 6 5/16in. x 99ft 1in., 71825.9lb., 141ft 15/16in.)
Polished overall aluminum finish
Four-engine heavy bomber with semi-monoqoque fuselage and high-aspect ratio wings. Polished aluminum finish overall, standard late-World War II Army Air Forces insignia on wings and aft fuselage and serial number on vertical fin; 509th Composite Group markings painted in black; "Enola Gay" in black, block letters on lower left nose.
poison in a waxy box
Image by postbear
thanks to the good people at pomì, i’ve been puking and shitting high velocity liquids for the last day and a half. i made a pasta sauce sunday night with this filthy box of terror and a few onions, celery and mushrooms, along with the usual oil and herbs and spices. stomach rumblings began in the early morning, and later on in the afternoon, but i went to work anyway.
big mistake. thankfully nightjob is flexible and allows for people to vanish suddenly or to put their heads down on the desk and moan, sleep, and race to the toilet with some frequency.
after being up expelling fluids from every orifice much of the night, alternated with deep fevered sleep, i think the bulk of the poisons are gone. many thanks to dead robot for going to the store to buy me the usual cure: ginger ale and soda crackers.