CREATURE FEATURE: the leucistic peacock (what’s the difference between leucistic and albino?)

At the Tbilisi Zoo in Georgia there are a number of peacocks and peahens, including a white peacock. It is a leucistic peacock.

Leucistic peacocks are white all over. It is a genetic mutation called leucism which causes a reduction of colour pigmentation.

Leucistic peacock

a leucistic (white) peacock

 

The difference between leucistic peacocks and albino peacocks is the colour of their eyes. Albinos peacocks (and all albino animals) have pink eyes. Leucistic peacocks have blue eyes. Leucistic peachicks are born yellow and become fully white when they mature.

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the leucistic peacock (with blue eyes) is not an albino (with pink eyes)

 

Males are called peacocks and females are called peahens. Babies are called peachicks. Collectively, they are called peafowls.

peacock feathers

leucistic peacock feathers

 

The Indian peacock (Pavo cristatus) is originally from India and Sri Lanka. The peacock (male) has iridescent green and blue plumage (feathers) while the peahen (female) is not as colourful – mainly grey, brown, and green. Both males and females have a crest on top of their heads (which looks like a crown).

The Indian peacock displays his covert feathers (top feathers that cover other feathers) when attracting a female. The Congo peacock (from Africa) does not.

Peacocks

Indian peacock (without leucism)

 

 

Photographer: Martina Nicolls

Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM

 

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