Tourists Spotted A Rare “blonde penguin” During A National Geographic Cruise

by Unbelievable Facts8 years ago0 comments
Picture Tourists Spotted A Rare “blonde penguin” During A National Geographic Cruise

Tourists were astonished to see the “blonde penguin” at the edges of one of the South Shetland Islands while on a National Geographic cruise: Journey to Antarctica. The penguin resembles an albino but it appears to have a condition known as isabellinism, according to P. Dee Boersma, a penguin expert.

blonde penguin
Image Source: www.news.nationalgeographic.com

According to a study published in 2009 on the journal Marine Ornithology, isabellinism is a genetic mutation condition that dilutes pigment in the feathers of affected penguins. The dark colors of the bird lighten uniformly and turn the animal pale brown or grayish yellow. Isabelline penguins are not albinos.

The terms “Isabellinism” and “leucism” represent separate conditions technically, but sometimes the words are used interchangeably.  Albinism is when an animal does not produce any melanin throughout its entire body while Leucism is a type of mutation that prevents any melanin from being produced in the feathers. Boersma says that many of the penguin species have a few penguins that have this color pattern but they are rare.

Scientists have for example observed most isabellinism cases in Gentoo penguins that can be found in the Antarctic Peninsula. The lowest incidences are with the Magellanic penguins that live on the South American coasts.

While in the ocean, penguins use their black backs to camouflage themselves from predators and prey that swim above. Boersma suspects that isabellinism would affect the survival of the South Shetland penguin although no study has been done on the subject.
[Source: www.news.nationalgeographic.com]

Find us on YouTube Bizarre Case of Gloria Ramirez, AKA “The Toxic Lady”
Picture Tourists Spotted A Rare “blonde penguin” During A National Geographic Cruise
You May Also Like
OUR RECENT VIDEOS
background
How Were Dinosaur Fossils Not Discovered Until The 1800s? Picture
background
Why Can’t We Simply Eradicate Mosquitoes? Picture
background
Why Does Time Go Faster As We Grow Older? Picture
background
Why Aren’t Planes Getting Faster? Picture
background
10 Events That Can Wipe Out Humanity Picture