A Belgian photographer out taking photos in the wild of a colony of king penguins managed to get pictures of a “never seen” before yellow penguin.
It happened while Yves Adams was on a walk in South Georgia, an island in the southern Atlantic, taking pictures in December of hundreds of thousands of the birds when the little yellow one landed right by him, according to PetaPixel. The piece was noted by the New York Post in a piece published Friday. (RELATED: Giant Parrots Used To Roam Ancient New Zealand, According To Newly-Discovered Fossils)
“I’d never seen or heard of a yellow penguin before,” the photographer told Kennedy News. “There were 120,000 birds on that beach and this was the only yellow one there.” (RELATED: Scientists Celebrate Gay Penguins As Pride Celebrations Hit Antarctica)
Wildlife photographer snaps shot of ‘never-before-seen’ yellow penguin https://t.co/rKSYcfOfc3 pic.twitter.com/gFgZ6jG0zD
— New York Post (@nypost) February 19, 2021
“We were so lucky the bird landed right where we were,” he added. “Our view wasn’t blocked by a sea of massive animals. Normally it’s almost impossible to move on this beach because of them all.”
“It was heaven that he landed by us,” the photographer continued. “If it had been 50 meters away we wouldn’t have been able to get this show of a lifetime.”
Lucky for us, the photographer also posted a handful of the pictures of the rare penguin finding on his Instagram. Check them out!
Adams went on to explain that it is a “leucistic penguin” which means “its cells don’t create melanin anymore so its black feathers become this yellow and creamy color.”
Researcher Daniel Thomas told Smithsonian Insider that penguins use the “yellow pigment to attract mates” they “strongly suspect that the yellow molecule is synthesized internally.”
“[It’s] distinct from any of the five known classes of avian plumage pigmentation and represents a new sixth class of feather pigment,” he added of the bird. “As far as we are aware, the molecule is unlike any of the yellow pigments found in a penguin’s diet.”