Extremely rare black penguin spotted in Antarctica

An unusual gentoo penguin with dark pigmentation

This unusual gentoo penguin has exceptionally dark plumage

Rocio Nigro, Anahi M. Silvestro, Mariana Juares and Pamela Di Marco

A gentoo penguin with unusually dark plumage has been spotted in Antarctica. The bird is only the second gentoo penguin ever to be documented with melanism, a condition that causes the overproduction of dark pigments in birds’ skin and feathers.

Gentoo penguins (Pygoscelis papua), which live on the rocky islands surrounding Antarctica, typically have pale bellies and darker backs that camouflage them against predators while swimming. But in December 2022, researchers studying the species found and photographed an adult bird with strikingly …

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