For humans, most animals have a well-known and well-established color scheme. And what will be the surprise of many when this indestructible knowledge suddenly begins to crumble.
But there are exceptions to every rule, why can't animals, thanks to mutations, get rid of their usual color? From time to time, creatures with an unusual color appear, which look extremely unusual. The most famous such cases will be discussed below.
Brown giant pandas. The giant panda of classic black and white color has only one subspecies - brown. His name is also Qinling Panda, in honor of the very Chinese mountains where this animal lives. The main difference between the subspecies is in their colors. While ordinary pandas have predominantly black fur with white spots, Qinling pandas have dark brown fur, and their spots are yellow or beige. Scientists explain such an unusual color of these bears by the fact that once ordinary pandas mated with their relatives. People learned about the existence of such unusual pandas only in 1985. And it took twenty years to declare this subspecies unique. Today, it is not really clear what the population size of the Qinling pandas is. Scientists have seen only five such unusual creatures, but several hundred more may be hiding in the mountains.
Black penguin. In fact, at least 17 species of penguins live on Earth. So do not be surprised that these flightless birds can have different appearances. The standard penguin looks black with a white belly, but some individual individuals have colored crests, orange beaks, bright yellow eyes or white wings. But among all this variety, the black penguin stands out more than others. The fact is that this bird has a uniform color, both in front and behind. For the first time such a penguin was seen by a National Geographic photographer in 2010. This mutation was immediately declared rare, one in a billion. The fact is that a penguin has melanism, when the body produces an excess of pigment that responds to skin color. Usually for birds there is often a lack of melanin or its excess. In penguins, a similar case was unique.
Chimera cat. The tortoiseshell cat of Venus has a muzzle divided into two parts by flowers. One is red tabby and the other is black. And if in the first half there is a blue eye, then in the second it is already green. Why the cat got such a color remains a mystery. It is believed by many to be a chimera. These creatures appear when two embryos fuse together in the womb. This is common in cats. Most tortoiseshell cats are generally chimeras, but in cats this is quite rare. Venus attracted public attention with its unusual color. Everyone is scratching their heads - why did nature make this creature so? The unusual cat even has its own page on Facebook, where it has been tagged 150 thousand times. And the video with Venus on YouTube has already been viewed more than two million times.
Zebras with melanism. Melanism is not only found in penguins, changing the original black and white color. This deviation is also found in some zebras. Moreover, such a mutation in these artiodactyls is noted much more often than in black penguins. Nevertheless, zebras with melanism are still rare. Perhaps because it is difficult for them to survive in the wild. There is also a difference from completely black penguins. Zebras with melanism are still completely black. They just have unusually wide and pronounced black stripes. Thanks to this, the animal looks much darker than usual. But it is worth remembering the fact that all zebras are unique in their own way. There are no such artiodactyls with the same arrangement of stripes, as well as people with identical fingerprints.
Zebra with golden stripes. This case is the opposite of the previous one. If there is an excess of melanin in the body, then zebras acquire wide black stripes. The lack of this pigment "rewards" the animals with golden stripes instead of the traditional black ones. The Hawaiian zebra Zoey, whose images have been scattered across the Internet, has received its portion of fame. The animal received bright golden stripes. And although the striking appearance is the result of work in Photoshop, Zoe's real appearance is still amazing. The unusual zebra has not only golden stripes, but also blue eyes. This is because the genetic disorder is amelanism. Zebra is naturally deficient in the enzyme tyrosinase, which oxidizes phenols in animals and plants.
Giant albino kangaroo. Among the species of kangaroos there are also quite large ones, the Giant Kangaroos stand out here. These animals reach a height of 210 centimeters, and they weigh up to 54 kilograms. At a time, kangaroos can cover a distance of 8 meters and a height of 1.8 meters. At the same time, giant kangaroos move at a speed of 56 kilometers per hour. But albinos in this form are quite rare. One unusual specimen was found in Namaji National Park, which is located southwest of the Australian capital, Canberra. The Rangers believe it was a female kangaroo and gave her the name Rene. If most representatives of the species have a gray skin, then this albino has snow-white fur and pink eyes. Experts believe that such kangaroos have little chance of surviving in the wild. The fact is that they are easy prey for wild dogs and foxes, not knowing how to disguise themselves. Albinos are more likely to suffer from skin cancer, are susceptible to sunburn, and they hear and see much worse than their counterparts.
Half colored American lobster. American lobsters are usually brown. You can see them in a different color when boiling - they turn red. In July 2006, an amazing lobster was caught in Maine. It looked half-cooked as one side was speckled and brown and the other was red. Typically, American lobster shells are a combination of red, blue and yellow pigments. In this case, half of the creature turned out to be red due to the lack of blue pigment. The other half of the lobster was quite normal, because in this species, each half develops on its own. Lobsters, dyed in different colors exactly in half, are very rare. It is believed that the chances of meeting such a creature are only one in fifty million.
Tiger with melanism. Large cats, which weigh up to 300 kilograms, also suffer from melanism. This case is similar to that of a zebra. The same thing happens - large cats with melanism are not completely black. But in this case, the wide black stripes stand out much more, because ordinary tigers are golden or red in nature. There is a photograph of at least one tiger with this deviation, it was taken in the Indian Simlipal National Park during the tiger count in 2012. The unusual large cat was an aggressive species of Bengal tigers. Moreover, the tiger had the same dimensions as other normal representatives of the same species and age, which do not suffer from melanism.
Seneca's white deer. Until 2000, there was an army depot in New York's Seneca County, where weapons from the Second World War were stored, and then the Gulf War. In 1941, when the walls of the fence were erected, they became a trap for several white deer. Controlled hunting and a friendly attitude towards animals have led to the fact that today out of 800 living in the territory of a huge military warehouse in the open air, a quarter of the deer are white. This is how the world's largest population of mutated animals living in the same territory appeared. The Seneca white deer have never formed their own species. It is a species of brown white-tailed deer. White deer appeared due to the presence of leukism in them. It led to the disappearance of the pigment from the wool. But the eyes of these deer are as brown as their counterparts. This mutation may not be considered as extreme as albinism. It would manifest for the deer in a change in the color of the eyes to pink.
White elephant. These animals do have albinism. But they are not white at all, despite their name. In fact, these animals are pink or even reddish brown. This rare mutation occurs most commonly in Asian elephants rather than African ones. In countries such as Thailand and Burma (Myanmar), white elephants are traditionally considered sacred animals. They are not burdened with any work and are respected in every possible way. It is believed that the presence of such an elephant in the country testifies to its blessing, wisdom and strength of the ruler. Thanks to the albino elephant, the corresponding idiom even appeared in English. Here "white bishop" is called a thing that has no real value, although it is expensive. There are even curious stories about how the kings of Siam gave white elephants to those they really wanted to punish. Due to the special status of these animals, they could not be forced to work, and of course it was forbidden to kill. As a result, the unfortunate recipients of such a gift were forced to spend a lot, caring for the albino elephants. This usually led to bankruptcy.