The genetic defect in question, known as leukism, causes “partial loss of pigmentation in the plumage, while the eye color remains normal, unlike albinos.” The Galapagos penguin was spotted a week ago on Isabela Island.
The Galapagos penguins only grow up to 35 centimeters and are among the smallest representatives of their species. They are also the only penguin species that lives on the equator.
The Galapagos Islands have been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1979. The archipelago’s unique flora and fauna inspired the British researcher Charles Darwin to develop his theory of evolution. The protected archipelago is located about a thousand kilometers off the coast of Ecuador. It owes its name to the native Galapagos giant tortoises.