One in 1,000 newborns has down syndrome, which is among the most prevalent genetic diseases in people. You might be wondering if there are any animals that have the condition. If you do a fast online search, you’ll find various animals that have gained notoriety for having characteristics resembling those of Down syndrome. The reality about these animals and Down syndrome could surprise you! So, the question is, are animals even capable of having down syndrome? Technically, no, but very similar illnesses can manifest in both of them. Here is a list of animals with down syndrome and more such stories about them.
Animals with down syndrome
1. White Tigers
You may be familiar with Kenny the tiger, who was saved in 2002 and spent his final years at Turpentine Creek Wildlife Reserve in Arkansas. Kenny passed away in 2008. Wide-set eyes, a mouth that wouldn’t close all the way, and a small snout made his face stand out as notably unusual. He was sometimes referred to as the “tiger with Down syndrome” and became somewhat famous online.
In actuality, rather than chromosome abnormalities, Kenny suffered from hereditary facial deformities brought on by inbreeding. In the wild, white tigers are actually quite uncommon. But since they are so attractive, both zoos and fur traders want to keep them to capitalize on their fame. Sadly, this leads to aggressive breeding strategies that depend on inbreeding to continue producing tigers with white fur.
Cats are probably the species that receives the most attention on social media when it comes to “Down syndrome pets.” But as we just mentioned, cats lack chromosome 21. Here are three famous people with their ailments: Otto the kitten, who reportedly passed away too soon from Down syndrome, really had aberrant facial traits that were probably the result of a hormonal imbalance or genetic mutation.
Lil Bub the cat had several genetic abnormalities, including extra toes and feline dwarfism, which made it difficult for her to maintain the tongue in her mouth. Despite having a sunken nasal bridge due to a chromosomal issue, Monty the cat does not have Down syndrome.
The koala is a well-known Australian forest animal. The koala, sometimes known as “bear,” is a marsupial, a type of vertebrate with a pouch for the benefit of future generations. Despite the fact that koalas appear fluffy, their hair is more like coarse sheepskin. Their hands feature two opposing thumbs, and both their hands and feet have rough paws and cushions to grab onto branches. Their feet feature two melded toes that they utilize to groom their fur. A native of Australia, the koala is an arboreal herbivorous mammal.
Even though giraffes are typically thought of as having the longest legs, miniature giraffes do exist, which can be unexpected. These creatures don’t have Down syndrome, though. They have skeletal dysplasia, a genetic condition that results in the spine, limbs, legs, and skull having improperly shaped bones. Another problem that can affect giraffes is comparable to birth asphyxia, in which the baby is deprived of oxygen and does not fully grow. For instance, Julius the giraffe, who was born at the Maryland Zoo, suffered nerve damage that caused his tongue to be paralyzed and caused his head to droop to the right.
5. Beluga whales
Beluga whales are fishes with big foreheads that have a distinctive white tone and a variety of vocalizations, earning them the moniker “canary of the ocean.” They are incredibly sociable creatures who organize their groups so that members can pursue, move, and work together. In the United States, in the province of Alaska, beluga whales are found all over the Arctic and sub-Arctic waters.
They can migrate between freshwater and saltwater and are at home in the coves and bays along the coast. Beluga whales are defenseless against a variety of stresses and threats, including pollution, degradation of the ecosystem, provocation, linkages with commercial and recreational fishing, oil and gas exploration, infection, predation by killer whales, and many types of human annoyance.
Large tongues are a typical Down syndrome symptom as well as a typical macroglossia symptom in dogs. Dogs with macroglossia often have excessively big tongues that protrude constantly from their mouths as a result of larger cells or muscle tension. Their tongues have a limited range of motion and might make breathing difficult. Despite the fact that it can be simple to believe a dog with macroglossia has Down syndrome, the issue typically develops for other causes. An allergic reaction or exposure to illnesses like hypothyroidism are two examples.
Researchers have discovered that mice can experience chromosomal flaws. They may promote an extra copy of chromosome 16, which results in adverse effects like Down syndrome. Children with this abnormality typically die before they are conceived, hence it is never observed in populations of wild mice. Scientists only know about the possibility because they genetically created the conditions in research center mice to focus on them.
A mouse is a small rat with a pointed nose, a spherical, furry body, huge ears, and a long, often bald, tail. Mice can be divided into a variety of subfamilies that belong to either Old World or New World species. Deer mice, house mice, field mice, wood mice, dormice, barbed mice, and zebra mice are among the common varieties.
Elephants have the largest body, largest ears, and longest trunks of any land vertebrate on the planet. They grab things with their trunks, trumpet warnings, greet different elephants, or suck up water for drinking or cleaning, among other things. African elephants can grow either left or right tusks; the one they use most frequently is typically more subdued by virtue of mileage. Both male and female African elephants can grow tusks.
Asian elephants differ from their African counterparts in more than one way, with more than 10 undeniable real differences between them. For instance, Asian elephants have less conspicuous ears than their African counterparts, who have enormous, fan-like ears. African elephants, both male, and female have elephants that foster tusks, but only a few male Asian elephants have tusks.
Around dusk, spotted hyenas have keen eyesight and excellent hearing. They can run for long distances without becoming tired since they are swift. When a group creature, perhaps one that is sick or old, is captured, packs work together to keep track of it until the very end. The winners frequently argue over the royal jewels, either with one another or with other powerful animals like lions.
The “chuckling” that has long been associated with spotted hyenas’ moniker is just one of the many sounds they may make. Spotted hyenas are also quite loud. The largest of the three hyena species are spotted hyenas. The other two are striped and brown hyenas. Hyenas may resemble dogs, yet they are much more closely related to wolves.
Kanako, a monkey, was born in solitary confinement at the Kumamoto Sanctuary, where she also developed a few peculiar traits that set her apart from other chimpanzees. For instance, she crossed her eyes and started making waterfalls when she was just a year old. She lost her vision when she was seven years old. She also displayed some sensory abnormalities and underdeveloped teeth.
Later investigations revealed that Kanako had trisomy 22—a third duplicate of chromosome 22. All of these traits are mirrored in people with Down disorder, a hereditary illness caused by the presence of all or a portion of an additional chromosome 21. Trisomy 21 is a term that is usually used to refer to a whole additional duplicate of chromosome 21. Patients with down syndrome have generally smaller brains, namely smaller cerebellums, and smaller hippocampi.
These are the 10 animals with down syndrome. Kindly share and do post your comments.