Scientists Discover How White Tigers Got Their StripesS

Scientists have discovered the genetic trait that results in white tigers, something originally only explained by Just So Stories logic. The trait, which caused their fur to have white accents rather than orange ones, was long known to be a recessive trait. New research has isolated a change in a specific part of one gene that causes this mutation. Humans can have the same trait, as can some mice, horses, and fish.

In case you didn't know about them, white tigers are mythical looking—because of those dramatic black and brown stripes with the white fur instead of orange. Also, those really pretty blue eyes.

Probably because they are so entrancing, the last free-ranging white tiger was poached in 1958. Currently, these tigers are inbred and are frequently born with deformities or die prematurely. However, the scientists pose that the white-fur-causing mutation alone is not associated with these other harmful mutations.

[image via AP]