Two weeks ago, an all-black Emperor penguin was captured for the first time by the BBC. According to Newsweek, the creature may be the rarest of its species. Aside from only a few white feathers, the penguin is entirely black, making it the most Goth bird in all of Antarctica.
The footage, captured by BBC camera crews working on the phenomenal wildlife series Dynasties (if you haven’t seen it, you must catch up here) reveals a penguin with a black belly in a sea of white, like a rebel at a white tie event.
Adult emperors have blackheads and wings, gray backs, and white bellies, with their distinctive yellow-orange markings around the neck. This particular penguin spotted when the Dynasties team were filming the Emperor episode in Antarctica, is almost entirely black, but does have the odd patch of white on its chest and wing tips, and a splash of yellow around its neck.
Sometimes, sadly, it’s not good to stand out in a crowd, though. The mutation can make animals with melanism easier to spot by predators. In this penguin’s case, not just because it may be more visible on the ice, but because penguins’ white bellies make them look invisible to predators swimming below by helping them blend in with the light from the surface.
However, while this Goth penguin may not be the first of its kind, it is the only one that has been known to survive all the way to adulthood.
Check out the little guy wobbling around on the ice of Antarctica below.