Mother Nature is full of surprises and this is all the proof you need. A wildlife photographer going by the name Yves Adams recently shared some images of a rare yellow penguin that has never been identified before. Yves Adams is a Belgian photo tour, expedition guide, and wildlife photographer. In 2019 he decided to undertake a two-month journey to South Atlantic with the hopes of photographing some incredible sights.
He came across an exceptional king penguin with a bright yellow coat that appeared to stand out from the rest of its kind. Adams’ group made a stop on an island in South Georgia with hopes of photographing a colony of more than 120,000 king penguins. This is when Adams noticed the yellow penguin. He was unloading some food and safety equipment onto Salisbury Plain and was amazed because he had never seen or heard of a yellow penguin before.
Out of the 120,000 penguins on the beach, this particular one was the only one with yellow plumage. The photographers were fortunate because this one-of-a-kind penguin had landed on the beach right next to them. The group managed to get a perfect view without any obstructions caused by the penguins and seals in the area. Usually, it is no easy task to move about on the beach because it is swarming with a large number of animals.
“It was heaven that he landed by us. If it had been 50 meters away we wouldn’t have been able to get this show of a lifetime,” expressed Adams. Now let us ask the question as to what has caused this plumage color. According to experts, this is due to leucism, which has led to the loss of pigmentation. Apparently, leucism is quite similar to albinism, but in this case, the animal keeps some of its pigments.
Since the cells do not produce melanin the creature’s black hue transforms into a yellow and creamy color. It has also been brought to light that the yellow pigment discovered in penguin feathers is chemically different in comparison to the other molecules that add color to their feathers. Moreover, according to studies on leucism, the chances of a penguin developing leucism is 1 in 20,000-146,000.