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All Black Penguin Picture Excites Researchers

King Penguins are known for their two-tone tuxedo-like appearance, but one islander near Antarctica is turning researchers heads after he was photographed donning an all-black suit. Where normally there would be an immaculate white belly, this penguin is all black without even a hint of white coming through.

The extraordinarily rare goth penguin. (From Andrew Evans of National Geographic)
While color variation is not unheard of in penguins, the all black water bird is a true rarity researchers say because it would take a genetic mutation to place its melanin deposits in such a way that would leave his entire chest black. Melanin is a mix of compounds found in plants in animals that controls the color of its skin, hair or foliage.

The rare all black penguin was photographed on South Georgia Island near Antarctica by Andrew Evans, of National Geographic. Despite its rare mutation, scientists say the bird appears very healthy. "Look at the size of those legs. It's an absolute monster," remarked one researcher.

From NationalGeographic.com

Photo by Ted Cheeseman, from NationalGeographic.com
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