Did you ever see a blonde penguin? Of course you didn’t, no one have right? Well, no, apperently, blonde penguins exist and they are a thing of beauty. We are so used to seeing or even just imagining how some things look like that it’s hard for us to even think of it in a different way. How does a penguin look like? Black and white right? That’s the first thing you think about when I write the word penguin.
However, During a National Geographic Journey to Antarctica cruise some lucky tourists got a rare chance to see a golden penguin in real life. It was spotted along the shore and flocking with regular black and white penguins. This was truly their lucky day as these rare blonde penguins almost never seen in the wild.
These animals are categorized as Leucistic penguins for the fact they have the unique gold blonde color running through their coat. Black and white penguins are categorized as chinstrap penguins that regularly occupies the shores of the Southern Pacific and Antarctic Ocean. The golden penguin was seeing relaxing with his black and white friends and looking just as adorable as you might of think.
This condition in animals is very rare because Leucism is a genetic mutation that reduces the production of pigmentation in the skin cells. When an animal has this condition it makes them stand out from the rest of their peers which is a very dangerous thing in the wild as it’s immediately makes that animal a target for predators.
It does however, make them a very interesting animal to look at. If we are talking about birds specifically, the condition is actually called isabellinisim and it is really caused by a lack of melanim in the plumage and feathers.
Check out the quick gallery below of the blonde penguin and the video at the end.
All images are courtesy of DAVID STEPHENS, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC EXPEDITIONS