She was the only one of her kind but now "Pinky" the pink dolphin has a little rosy baby. A rare genetic mutation gave Pinky her unique color and the mama dolphin has steadily risen to popularity since she was spotted in the Calcasieu Ship Channel 12 years ago. Now she's been seen with an equally pink calf and my heart can't handle the cuteness.
Here's Pinky and some other adorable oddballs whose coloring has made them unique.
Just Keep Swimming
Captain Erik Rue, the first person to spot Pinky, says the dolphin is pink from head to tail and has red eyes. The already unique dolphin is also a river dolphin, a species that the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has listed as endangered and whose population continues to decline. In more than one way, the birth of a pink calf will help raise the population of a rare breed.
Senior rescue biologist Carrie Sanchez at Clearwater marine aquarium told WFLA News, "in all my time here I've never seen an animal look like that."
This Blonde Isn't From A Bottle
MonsterMuleys user Brute captured these stunning photos of a blonde elk in Jewell Oregon. Blonde elks are a rare find among their species, as elks usually have distinctive dark brown fur. This particular elk also has blue eyes which also makes him stand out among his furry peers.
This coloring isn't a result of albinism either, as normally albino elks have completely white fur. Regardless of whatever happened to make this elk this color, this creature definitely won't need its roots touched up.
Brown Panda Chilling On Veranda
Meet Qizai, meaning "Seventh Son," the rare brown panda. This sweet brown boy lives in the Foping Panda Valley in Shaanxi province in China. Qizai is thought to be the only living panda in the world who has this rare coat of white and brown.
He Xin, Qizai's keeper, said that this neutral loving guy was bullied as a cub by other pandas who would steal his bamboo. Now he spends his days relaxing and getting all the bamboo he deserves - 44 pounds of it per day.
There's Bite To This Piebald Ball Python
Piebald is a recessive trait in the animal kingdom. Animals that have a piebald expression have sections of fur, skin, or scales that are partially un-pigmented while other parts of their bodies have variable color and pattern mutations.
Like the python here, piebalds usually feature cloud-like pattern expressions. This python has had its normally bubbly brown swirls of a ball python reduced to patches along its body, making for some splashes of color against its white body. Those dots are Dior for sure.
This Peacock Couldn't Choose What Color To Wear This Morning
Talk about the best of both worlds! This incredible looking peacock has a rare genetic condition called leucism. Leucism occurs in peacocks when pigment cells fail to migrate from the neural crest during their color development.
Not to be confused with albinism, as those peacocks have completely white feathers and red eyes, leucism only results in partial loss of pigment. This rare bird shows us that white really does go with anything in your wardrobe.
This Lobster Has The Blues
In May 2016, Nova Scotia made headlines when they caught two of these unlikely critters. Only about one in every two million lobsters are blue. Lobsters caught on the Atlantic coast have shells that tend to be greeny-brown and turn red when boiled. An even rarer occurrence is a lobster being yellow or white.
Lobsters are born bright blue because of a genetic abnormality that causes them to produce more of a certain protein than others.
See You Later White Alligator
The leucistic genetic mutation doesn't only happen in peacocks, but can occur in alligators as well! This particular gator is one in 15 million, as it traded its green markings for white scales. It's a bold choice for the predator, as its scales make it stand out against the swampy waters it normally camouflages in.
Unfortunately, alligator skin is already desirable for handbags, and the rarity of a white one makes this gator even more coveted. In 2015, Hermes sold its white crocodile 'Himalayan Nilo Birkin' for $185,000 at an auction - and that one was dyed.
Keep Four Eyes Out For This Turtle
Do you get that creepy feeling you're being watched? Does it feel like this little guy's four eyes are following you around the room? Well don't worry, this interesting marking is an evolutionary defense designed to trick predators into thinking the four-eyed turtle is tracking their every move.
While this one isn't an exception from his species, the four-eyed turtle is highly endangered thanks to the high demand for their shells. Keep calm and watch on little buddy!
Badger Sees Red
Though it's faint, this badger exhibits symptoms of the rare erythrism trait where the animal's fur is tinged with a reddish hue. Erythrism comes from a genetic variation which causes badgers to lack the distinctive black pigment in their fur. Unlike albinism, erythrism is a light fade - think lowlights instead of highlights.
This rare little guy and his friend can be found in the Derbyshire Wildlife Trust, where they spend their days grazing, napping in the grass, and discussing color theory.
They Always Said Cats Were Two-Faced
Do you think the photographer got her good side? Venus the "Two-Faced Cat" boasts some incredible pigment, seeming to be two completely different felines with different color furs and eyes joined together. Surprisingly, that's not far off.
Venus is a chimera, which is a type of animal that is created when in the womb two fertilized cells are fused together. This doesn't explain her blue eye though, which experts say is extremely atypical since normally cats have green or yellow eyes. Either way, Venus is a cool cat - just don't get on her bad side.
Pete The Purple Squirrel
This isn't a hoax, but it might just be the weirdest thing you see in your backyard today. Pete the purple squirrel is something of a local celebrity around the neighborhoods of Stubbington, Hampshire. Pete likes to strut his purple self around the Meoncross School area, causing teachers and students alike to speculate on how he got his bizarre coat.
Animal expert Chris Packham believes that Pete chews on old purple ink cartridges and then licks himself. Whether it's natural or not is debatable, but this little guy has me searching for purple ink cartridges for my own hair.
Eye Of The White Tiger
Like a person's fingerprints, no two tigers have the same stripes. While orange and black is the most common color scheme for a tiger, tigers can actually be found in a wide variety of coat colors. Whether it's completely white, white with black stripes, or golden, the harder you look the more shades there are to the tiger rainbow.
White fur on tigers is recessive, so like human eye color, if two parents have the recessive white fur gene then their children will have white fur. This little guy is just as shocked at his genetic odds as we are.
All Hail The King...Cheetah?
This cheetah is clearly a fan of the striped tracksuit look, as its fur looks sporty with stripes running from its head to its tail. This distinctive marking makes this animal a "king cheetah," and is a fur pattern mutation with connected black dots caused by a lack of genetic diversity in the gene pool.
Cheetah populations have declined in recent years, making this small subset of the species even rarer. In any case, this guy chose stripes and not spots for his fall coat.
This Cheetah Won't Put You On The Spot
Like its relative the king cheetah, this spotless white cheetah is a rarity in itself. This iconic animal was only ever captured once by wildlife photographer Guy Combs and it has risen to internet stardom ever since.
This species has been rumored to exist as far back as 1608 when the Mughal Emperor of India claimed to have had one presented to him as a gift. The search for this elusive guy has been long and hard where photographers and biologists constantly feeling like they missed a spot.
Think Pink Katydid
If green grasshoppers blend into the grass, then what does the pink grasshopper blend into? Pink grass? These are the questions the rare pink katydid wants you to ask, as this insect truly stands out from its green relatives.
The katydid's pink body is caused by erythrism, where it lacks the pigment development required to turn green. Scientists at the St. Louis insectarium have been breeding the insect, and have appropriately named some Cupid and Valentine. Doesn't that just put the pink in your cheeks?
What's Black And White And...Brown All Over?
This zebra had apparently heard enough of that old joke because this little guy was born at the Kansas City Zoo sporting none of the black and white coloring that zebras are famous for.
Apparently, this distinctive color isn't strange. It's common for foal zebras to be born with brown stripes that change to black when they're between 6-9 months old. The brown is to help the zebra blend into its surroundings more while it's still young to avoid being caught by predators. What a sensible and stylish neutral palette.
Man's Best Friend And Makeup Consultant
This cute rottweiler has vitiligo - the same condition that Michael Jackson and model Winne Harlow have had. It's not life-threatening, but it is very rare and very unique.
Vitiligo causes a loss of pigment in parts of the skin or fur, resulting in Duke's adorable constantly befuddled facial expression. One question, why the long face Duke? Duke was up for adoption in 2017 and has since happily found his forever home.
This Lobster Is Caught Between Two Sides
This indecisive lobster is a chimera, which happens when two fertilized eggs join together in the womb. Apparently, these rare chimeras are common enough in the lobster community that they're known as "splits."
This lobster was caught off the coast of Massachusetts and arrived at the New England Aquarium on October 31st. So this coloring might be a genetic variant, or an eager lobster looking to get festive for the Halloween season.
Albino Hedgehog Hedging Bets On Cuteness
It's the most adorable thing you'll see all day, maybe even all week. This adorable albino hedgehog making is its way straight into your heat with its white fur and pink little feet. Those white needles don't even look as sharp anymore because the cute factor has taken away any defensive ability.
Albinism affects the eyesight and the sun sensitivity of the animal who has it. That is even better because this little guy is probably so down to get out of the sun and cuddle with you.
Four-Toned Bird Is The Word
This fellow definitely knows that two is better than one, but clearly believes that that saying applies to four as well. The incredible wizardry that allowed this quad pattern to develop on this parakeet is chimerism.
I'd love to see what color wings this little guy has and if they alternate colors as well. Either way, I'm glad he ignored the "less is more rule" and stuck to his artistic integrity.