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Yellow Turtle (rare) discovered in India: All you need to know

In eastern India, a farmer has found a yellow turtle and according to the experts, it is due to albinism. Let us read more about the yellow turtle.
Jul 22, 2020 13:08 IST
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Yellow Turtle
Yellow Turtle

In the eastern part of India, a farmer Basudev Mahapatra spotted a turtle which is yellow in colour and according to the experts, it is the product of albinism. 

When Basudev Mahapatra was working in his fields in the village of Sujanpur, in Odisha's Balasore district, he spotted the turtle. He handed over to forest officials.

The executive director at the Association for Biodiversity Conservation, Siddhartha Pati said that the first time he had seen this kind of turtle.

He explained that the creature is like this due to albinism is a congenital disorder. The turtle has been released into the wild in Balasore. This turtle is called as the Indian flap shell turtle. This was an adult and it is believed that the age may be one and a half and two years old. He also added that the turtle commonly is found in Pakistan, Sri Lanka, India, Nepal, Bangladesh, and Myanmar. The animal is omnivorous and his diet includes frogs, snails, and even some aquatic vegetation. On an Australian beach in 2016, a rare albino green turtle newly hatched was spotted. 

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What is Albinism?

It is a type of genetic disorder where it is little or no production of pigment in the skin, eyes, and hair or in other species in the fur, feathers, or scales.

According to National Geographic, albinism occurs in mammals when an individual inherits one or more mutated genes from both parents that interfere with the body's production of melanin. It is the main pigment that determines the colour of skin, fur, and eyes. Within melanocytes, the production of melanin occurs. Melanocytes are specialised cells that are present but not only fully functional in albino mammals.

Let us tell you that non-mammal animals can also be albino but it is said that they can produce other pigments also in addition to melanin, they may not appear fully white. Also, albino mammals can show some colour if their melanin-making genes have not been totally damaged. 

Note: All white animals are not albinos. Some are simply light-skinned, or they might suffer from other conditions like leucism and isabellinism. 

Animals that suffer from albinism may face certain types of obstacles in nature. They often have poor eyesight due to which they face difficulty in hunting food and avoiding danger. Also, in some cases they may face difficulty in finding a mate and their inability to camouflage themselves makes them vulnerable to predators. Some of the albino creatures find success in the wild. 

Some facts about turtles

- They are reptiles having hard shells that protect them from predators.

- They are the most primitive and oldest group of reptiles that evolved millions of years ago.

- In almost every type of climate, turtles live all over the world.

- Do you know that 'turtle,' 'tortoise' and 'terrapin' are often used interchangeably as synonyms

- Most of the lives turtles spend in the water.

- When sea turtles have to lay eggs in the sand then only mostly sea turtles leave the ocean. 

- On the other hand, freshwater turtles live in ponds and lakes and they climb out of the water onto logs or rocks to bask in the warm sun.

- Tortoises are land animals with round and stumpy feet mainly adapted for walking on land. When the sun gets too hot, they dig burrows with their strong forelimbs and go underground.

- Whereas Terrapins live on land and in water, mainly in swamps, ponds, lakes, and rivers.

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