An extremely rare bright yellow turtle has been rescued from a village pond in West Bengal, India.
The bizarre-looking turtle’s coloration is caused by a unique form of albinism. As Daily Mail notes, this particular reptile belongs to a rare species called the Indian flap shell turtle.
Today a Yellow Turtle was rescued from a Pond in Burdwan,WB. It's one kind of a rarely occuring Flapshell Turtle. @ParveenKaswan @SanthoshaGubbi @RandeepHooda @rameshpandeyifs pic.twitter.com/enTyNAkxmP
— Debashish Sharma, IFS (@deva_iitkgp) October 27, 2020
According to Debashish Sharma, who posted the pictures of the rare turtle on Twitter, there are two potential explanations for the animal’s unusual coloration. He explains:
“It’s an albino kind whose peculiar yellow colour is may be bcoz of either some genetic mutation or congenital disorder due to absence of tyrosine pigment.”
Witty users across social media often compare the extraordinary turtle to melted cheddar cheese.
Several months ago, a similar reptile of the same species was discovered in Nepal.
In August, when a similar ‘golden’ turtle was found in a village in Nepal, locals compared it to a mythological incarnation of the Hindu deity Vishnu. Kamal Devkota, a reptile expert, described the spiritual significance of the rare animal:
“Not only golden animals, but turtles overall have significant religious and cultural value in Nepal. It is believed that Lord Vishnu [one of the most prominent of the Hindu gods] took the form of a turtle to save the universe from destruction in his incarnation.”
The golden or bright-yellow turtle owes its fascinating looks to a condition called chromatic leucism. It is characterized by a loss of color pigmentation, which usually results in white, pale, or patchy skin. However, in these two cases, it led to xanthophores — cells abundant with yellow pigments.
Did you know there were golden turtles? Were you aware of their spiritual symbolism? Leave a comment to let us know!