A few days ago, the Indian Forest Service announced the release of an unusual turtle from a fishing net - the reptile stands out sharply among its fellows with a rich bright yellow color. The creature was immediately called unique, but the media quickly recalled that a similar turtle in the same region was found just three months ago. And scientists report that there are reports of similar finds from Nepal, Myanmar and Bangladesh.
The turtle belongs to the most widespread species in the Indian state of Odesh - Lissemys punctata. There are many rare animals in the local protected jungle, so poaching thrives here, despite serious opposition from the authorities. Unusual and attractive yellow turtles now and then surface in black markets, where they are sold as living talismans. In addition, turtles themselves tend to swim far beyond the protected area, regularly falling into the nets of fishermen.
According to scientists, the bright yellow color of the turtle is a type of albinism called chromatic leucism. The body of such an animal is devoid of most of the standard pigments, however, yellow pteridine pigments are preserved and dominate, which provokes the appearance of a very bright, catchy color. It probably interferes with the survival of turtles, which are accustomed to hiding in muddy greenish water, so the frequency of cases of finding these strange albinos is somewhat surprising.