Penguin Is Missing his Tux

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Nope, it’s not a wetsuit — a writer on the subantarctic island of South Georgia recently snapped a shot of an all-black king penguin, a complete rarity in the animal world. Author Andrew Evans sent the image to National Geographic, whose editors contacted Canadian ornithologist Dr. Allan Baker for his input.

“Well that is astonishing,” Baker told National Geographic. “I’ve never ever seen that before. It’s a one in a zillion kind of mutation somewhere.” He went on to explain that melanistic birds (those with extra skin/feather pigmentation) often have white spots where pigment hasn’t colored their feathers, but it’s incredibly rare for color deposits to happen in an abnormal spot — like on this penguin’s breast feathers.

Since the magazine first printed the photo online on March 3, several readers have written in to discuss their own black penguin sightings. But none yet seem to compare to this guy, whom Evans described as a “single black king moving across a chessboard of so many white pawns.” Checkmate!

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Oscar Clears Way For 'Cove' In Japan

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An Oscar win by “The Cove,” a documentary chronicling bloody dolphin hunting in a Japanese fishing town, could give the film the critical audience its makers wanted to reach: ordinary moviegoers in Japan.

News that the movie won the Academy Award for best feature documentary was greeted with surprise in Japan because many Japanese hadn’t heard of it. The U.S. film, directed by former National Geographic photographer Louie Psihoyos, hasn’t been shown in commercial theaters in Japan except for a single viewing during the Tokyo International Film Festival in October.

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Oscar Clears Way For 'Cove' In Japan

the-cove1

An Oscar win by “The Cove,” a documentary chronicling bloody dolphin hunting in a Japanese fishing town, could give the film the critical audience its makers wanted to reach: ordinary moviegoers in Japan.

News that the movie won the Academy Award for best feature documentary was greeted with surprise in Japan because many Japanese hadn’t heard of it. The U.S. film, directed by former National Geographic photographer Louie Psihoyos, hasn’t been shown in commercial theaters in Japan except for a single viewing during the Tokyo International Film Festival in October.

(source)

(source)

Scientists Create Translucent Goldfish

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Japanese researchers have produced a new species of goldfish with see-through skin. You can see the fish’s beating heart, brain, and other internal organs, right through its invisible scales. And that’s precisely the point–the scientists created the fish to eliminate the need for dissections, which are getting ever more controversial in Japan. Here’s how they did it. Creating the ‘Ryukin’: the Translucent Goldfish According to the AFP, the researchers “produced the “ryukin” goldfish by picking mutant hatchery goldfish with pale skin and breeding them together.” They effectively bred fish with translucent, pigment-less scales and skin. The see-through fish will also live 20 years and grow up to 10 inches long–proving they’re certainly not your average goldfish.

Another group of Japanese researchers had already developed translucent frogs, which they’re planning on ‘mass producing’ and selling as early as next year. The see-through goldfish should be close behind. Both were created in response to mounting pressures from animal rights groups who object to mass dissections.
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