Odd-eyed cat and heterochromia iridum Odd-eyed cat and heterochromia iridum – SOMETHING ABOUT SCIENCE

Odd-eyed cat and heterochromia iridum

Photo credit: Ryusuke on Flickr

Our eye colors vary because of different concentrations and distributions of pigments, called melanin, deposited in the iris. Brown eyes are rich in melanin, while blue eyes lack this pigment. Heterochromia iridum describes a pair of eyes with mismatching colors. It is rare in people, but it frequently occurs in animals, such as cats, especially those with white furs that possess a gene that can mask out other color genes. A so-called “odd-eyed cat” has one blue eye, due to the prevention of melanin from reaching that eye during its development, and another regular color in the other eye, such as green, as in the photo.

Lynn Kimlicka

I am a scientist-turned writer and editor, who loves to read and write (more than doing experiments). I have a PhD in biochemistry and molecular biology, with a specialization in structural biology. My interests range widely, from life sciences to pop culture and arts to music. I am bilingual in English and Japanese.

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