The Houston Museum of Natural Science was founded in 1909 – meaning that the curators of the Houston Museum of Natural Science have been collecting and preserving natural and cultural treasures for a hundred years now. For this yearlong series, our current curators have chosen one hundred exceptional objects from the Museum’s immense storehouse of specimens and artifacts—one for each year of our history. Check back here frequently to learn more about this diverse selection of behind-the-scenes curiosities—we will post the image and description of a new object every few days.
This description is from Dan, the museum’s curator of vertebrate zoology. He’s chosen a selection of objects that represent the most fascinating animals in the Museum’s collections, that we’ll be sharing here – and on hmns.org – throughout the year.
True albino Raccoons (Procyon lotor) that were not farm-raised are very rare in the wild. This individual was found in the wild nearby in League City.
The fur on this entirely white specimen was not bleached or dyed in any way – it was a true albino found in nature. Although the eyes are glass, they are red just as the living animal’s eyes were. The eyes of albinos are red due to the lack of melanin, which makes it possible to see clear through to the red blood vessels.