We’re used to thinking of penguins as black and white, but researchers in Antarctica recently came across a bird of a different color. A rare white gentoo penguin was filmed at Gabriel Gonzalez Videla Base, and she’s absolutely stunning! According to BBC, the bird’s coloring is caused by leucism, an uncommon recessive gene. However, her bright feathers can make it easier for predators to spot her.
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Although you might guess this penguin to be albino because of her white appearance, leucism isn’t quite the same thing. You’ll notice in the footage that the bird still has dark eyes like the rest of her companions. The National Park Service explains that this is one of the hallmarks of leucism. If the penguin were white due to albinism, her eyes would also be affected.
Hugo Alejandro Harris Guerra, a photographer at the Antarctica base, explained that the rare white specimen is just one of the many wonders you can expect to see while living near a penguin colony.
“Here at Gabriel Gonzalez Videla Base there are 14 people who live in the middle of a colony of gentoo penguins,” he said, via translation. “There are hundreds of them. It’s incredible. Every day there is something different to see.”
You can find the source of this story’s featured image here.
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