8 More Strangely Colored Animals

1Pink Grasshopper

Amateur photographer Richard Taylor was out for a stroll on his lunch break in Ipswich, Suffolk when this pink grasshopper caught his eye on green reeds around a small lake. With its candy-colored body and white eyes, the insect didn’t stand a chance of keeping a low profile in its luscious green surroundings. It owes its color to a rare genetic mutation called erythrism, which is similar to albinism, and produces more of a reddish protein.

2White Moose

A local politician captured video footage of a rare white moose wandering his property in the Värmland region in the south west part of Sweden. After three years of trying, he finally caught stunning footage of the bull moose crossing a shallow river and walking through tall grass. It is entirely white, with soft white velvet coating its antlers.

Despite the animal’s all-white appearance, it’s coloring does not result from albinism, but from a recessive gene that causes the animal to grow white with specks of brown—a condition referred to as piebald.

Moose in Scandinavia face few predators, except humans. However, hunters have chosen not to kill any that are white, which means natural selection might be making the condition more common.


3Blue Dog

This dog is blue for an undesirable reason—pollution.

Handfuls of blue dogs have been recently seen on the streets of Mumbai, India. Their change in appearance has been linked to the pollution in the Kasadi River where they swim and look for food.

Industrial waste has been pumped into the river, which has long been deemed unfit for human consumption. Animal protection officers are now urging local officials to act on companies dumping into the waterway.


4Pink Dolphin

Pinky, the dolphin, got its name and infamy from its unusual color—pink!

The dolphin was first spotted in 2007 as a calf swimming with its mom and has reappeared several times over the past ten years. Most recently, she was seen in the Calcasieu Ship Channel near Hackberry and was captured on video by Bridget Boudreaux, who was on a boat cruise when she spotted the porpoise. This time, Pinky wasn’t alone—she was swimming with a group of dolphins, including a second pink porpoise who scientists believe may be her offspring.

Pinky’s coloring is thought to be a form of albinism or a rare genetic mutation.


5Green Puppy

Her name is Rio and she….had a litter of puppies!

The proud mom of nine golden retriever puppies was giving birth when owner Louise Sutherland, who lives in Golspie, Scotland, nothing something unusual—one dog came out sporting an unmistakable shade of green.

The rare phenomenon happens when light-colored puppies come in contact with biliverdin, a green pigment found in bile. (It’s the same pigment you can see when bruises turn green.) It mostly dyes their fur in the womb, and the color fades over time. Nonetheless, the new baby’s name is, and will remain, Forest.


6White Snake

This Slate Grey snake, which is native to Australia, is usually dark brown or black. It was found in Territory Wildlife Park in Berry Springs and immediately brought to a park official to ensure its safety. (As it has no way to camouflage itself—well, you can guess what will happen.)

The reptile is not albino, but “leucistic,” an even less-frequently observed condition characterized by a loss of pigment in the skin but not the eyes.

Territory Wildlife Park took to its Facebook page to reassure fans the snake would live the rest of its life out of harm’s way. “The nocturnal snake will be placed in quarantine at the Park to ensure it is free of any nasties that can harm our other animals and then be put on display for everyone to marvel at,” a park official wrote.


7Red-Eyed Wasp

Was this really needed, guys? Researchers at UC Riverside’s Akbari lab have brought a new strain of wasps into the world.

The red-eyed mutant Jewel wasp came into being to prove that “gene editing” technology can be used on such small creatures. The color of their eyes was changed from black to red, using the CRISPR gene editing technique—which allows scientists to inject components like RNA and proteins into an organism with instructions to find, cut, and mutate a specific piece of DNA—to give an example of what could be done.

The goal of the experiment was to gain a greater understanding of insect genetics, which could be used to find new ways of protecting crops or stopping the spread of diseases.


8Orange Crocodile

A recent expedition into the heart of Gabon’s Abanda caves has revealed an unusual population of dwarf crocodiles that had apparently made the caves their home, and they had strange, orange-colored skin. But why?

Would you believe bat guano?

The crocodiles share the space with thousands of bats and crickets which account for their food supply. A bountiful supply of bats means they never have to venture out, and the cave crocs are in better physical condition than their forest counterparts.

The deeper into the caves they go, the more orange they seem to become. The lack of light makes any skin coloration needless, and, in the case of the crocs, perhaps the orange color is transitional as they gradually become paler. But there’s a far more disgusting theory in play—one scientist believes their orange color comes from wading in an alkaline slurry formed from bat droppings.

“The urea in bat guano makes the water very basic,” Matthew Shirley, from the Rare Species Conservatory Foundation, explained. “Eventually that will erode away the skin and change its color.”


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