A Rare White Risso’s Dolphin Recently Popped up Off the Shores of Orange County

In May 2021, Newport Landing whale watchers on Newport Beach, California, found something incredibly rare. Outside of the sea, their boat attached to a pod of 40 reserve dolphins about 4.6 kilometers (3 miles) from Laguna Beach. Among the many gray dolphins was one in bright white, which the Newport Landing Whale Watching team suspected to be adult reserve dolphins by albinism or leucism. Risso’s dolphins all begin life as dark and smooth, slightly gray olives. As they get older, other resinous teeth mark their skin as they become lighter and those whose teeth scratched are a social behavior.

They also get stains from squid from their favorite foods, as their chits and tents leave marks on their skin. Not olive-smooth anymore, there are prominent patches of gray. The resurrection dolphin spotted on Laguna Beach, but it was something different. Away from teeth and removing all color by the beach of friends and enemies, this dolphin was probably an individual. Leucism is a condition seen throughout the animal kingdom where Mother Nature prints them using fewer pigments. This condition can lead to the presence of all white or light than the more conventional color of the species in question. 

The animal is an albino, which also means that they completely lack pigment, sometimes because of red or pink eyes. This particular person was last in July 2020 and before that, in 2017 on the San Diego coast. Jessica Roane of Newport Landing Whale Watching said, “If the dolphin is a true albino or if it can be melodic, it must be distinguished from other normal colored risso dolphins and easily spot on the water.” Risso’s dolphins are born dark gray at the same time, it tends to be lighter … However, and our white resin dolphins were unique in color today! “

Risso’s dolphins are not the only marine animals that play polar than usual in the Earth’s oceans. Everything from great white sharks to turtles and penguins (remember this lemon meringue- uin?) Have found with unusually pale skin and feathers, probably because leucism or albinism. Although leucism does not seem to have a direct negative effect on health, looking out of place while trying to survive in the wild is less than a desirable feature. As the Newport Landing Whale Observation Team revealed, these pets may be easier to identify because they are not in colorful disguise like their pod pulses. Moreover, the possibility of alternatives may hinder their chances of finding a mate.