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Posted by teepee on January 22, 2003 at 16:07:53:
In Reply to: Various theories on the chalk /yel colored alligator snapprs posted by Accomplice on January 21, 2003 at 15:33:33:
If it follows along the lines of the common snapper, then it is probably genetic. The reason why the light colored ones are found in sandy areas, is this is the only place they can survive. If a light colored hatchling lives in a muddy bottom area, he's going to be easy prey as he is easily seen. If he hatches in a an area where is unique coloration hides him well, he will be able to survive to reproduce. Given about a million years or so, a new subspecies may emerge to match the surroundings that protected its evolution.
:I've been talking with various people about these chalk or yellow colored alligator snappers for a while. Some thought maybe they had been pink-skinned hatchlings. Others said that yellow adults didn't come from pink-skinned hatchlings but rather came from milky white/ chalk colored babies. Two trappers that have 'messed with these things' since they were kids have told me that they find them in sandy areas vs. muddy areas. One of them seemed to think that the shells had been 'sand-blasted' by the particals in these types of environments. He didn't think that any babies were born this way. He also didn't think that any females ever turned this color. I'm under the mind-set that these things are born with this genetic coloration. What do you guys think causes this unique color?
:By the way, one of these turtle farmers has a 150 lb. white male that 'has a head as big as a 5 gallon bucket.' He's been offered two thousand five hundred dollars for it and declined the offer.