Have you wondered how penguins might appear in colors other than black and white? If so, this yellow penguin will be a pleasant surprise for you! Yves Adams, a landscape and wildlife photographer from Belgium, made nature lovers truly ecstatic by photographing a ‘never before seen’ yellow penguin.
In December 2019, Adams lead a photo exhibition in the South Atlantic which went on for two months. During this time, Adams and his team stopped at an island in South Georgia, where they photographed penguins. The massive colony of king penguins was made of over 120,000 individuals.
Adams came across an extremely rare sight while unpacking food and safety utensils onto the Salisbury Plain. It was a penguin with bright yellow plumage. He claimed that he has never witnessed such a sight before. Among nearly 120,000 penguins, this penguin was the only one with yellow plumage in the entire colony.
The photographers were very fortunate to have the yellow-colored penguin land close to them. Thanks to this, they were able to capture perfectly clear pics of the animal, without getting obstructed by the other penguins and seals in the area. Adams stated that if the yellow penguin didn’t land close to them, chances of photographing it would be non-existent, due to the massive number of animals. He added: “If it had been 50 meters away we wouldn’t have been able to get this show of a lifetime”.
This Penguin Is Yellow Due To Leucism
The reason for this strange yellow plumage is a condition called leucism, which results in the loss of pigmentation. The cells of leucistic penguins do not create melanin, causing their feathers to turn into a yellow and creamy color. According to research published in the Journal of the Royal Society Interface, scientists discovered that the yellow pigment in penguin feathers chemically differs from all other pigments resulting in the coloration of feathers.
According to Researcher Daniel Thomas at Smithsonian Insider, this unique yellow pigment helps penguins to attract mates. However, since this penguin is completely yellow-colored, it’s impossible clearly determine whether it attracts or deters the ladies. Also, its highly doubtful that the yellow pigment is an internally-synthesized molecule.
As claimed by PetaPixel, Adams has taken over a thousand photographs during this 8-week long expedition. Needless to say, this yellow penguin was surely the highlight of his journey. So, make sure to check out these once-in-a-lifetime photos and share your thoughts with us in the comments!