Advertisement

Nature

Rare "Blond" Penguin Spotted in Antarctica

author

Janet Fang

Staff Writer

clockAug 18 2014, 18:15 UTC
1830 Rare "Blond" Penguin Spotted in Antarctica
David Stephens, National Geographic Expeditions

Seafarers on a 2012 National Geographic-Lindblad expedition to Antarctica spotted this rare "blond" chinstrap penguin in a colony on Aitcho Island.

Advertisement

The condition is known as isabellinism or leucism (like "leukocyte," or white blood cells), and not albinism, where no melanin is produced. Animals with isabellinism have a genetic mutation that dilutes pigments in the feathers, according to a 2009 study in Marine Ornithology. Though technically separate conditions, isabellinism and leucism are used interchangeably. Leucistic birds have a mutation that restricts the dissemination of pigment to feathers.

Here's the video

 

 

Advertisement

[Via National Geographic]


Nature