With all of the varying possibilities of how an animal will look based on its DNA, there are some animals out there who without a doubt hit the genetic jackpot! Although the myriad colors that might show up in an animals fur, eyes, or skin are generally sought after, they are technically considered to be “genetic mutations“. While the word “mutation” generally implies that something went wrong, these gorgeous creatures are here to prove that mutations can actually be a wonderful thing.
Love those dogs with two different eye colors? How about the cat with the rare display of brilliant, exotic looking colors that can’t be found in their same-species counterparts? All of these things are a result of an animal’s genetic makeup.
Granted, just about every adorable animal out there is a result of these “mutations” and can be considered lucky in the realm of their DNA. There are some animals out there, however, that have physical features or characteristics that go far beyond the normal genetic deviation. Here are 45 animals who hit that genetic jackpot!
At first glance you might think this bird is from another planet, but it’s actually more common than you’d think. In fact, it’s actually a pigeon. Known as the Nicobar pigeon, this bird’s genes reach all the way back to the prehistoric Dodo bird.
Bengal cats in and of themselves tend to be a relatively rare breed to come by. This kitty has taken it one step further in terms of the exotic with its fur-color. While most Bengals have the same small stature and tiger to leopard patterned coats, this Bengal has taken on a predominantly black color to its fur-pattern, gaining a genetic advantage in its ability to stalk its nocturnal prey.
Sometimes a genetic mutation isn’t binary. Meaning, a mutation has the ability to affect only one side of the body part in question, such as one eye, one leg, or one ear. This lobster had some pretty indecisive DNA and ended up coming out with two completely different body colors.
Indeed, this bear’s face is absolutely spectacular! The bright, cheery hues are enough to make him stand out alone, but there are more surprises in his genes than color alone. This bear is representative of a species that comprises the last short-nosed bears on earth, and the only ones native to South America.
This cat’s face has the type of rare beauty that inspires art, and indeed, this feline looks statuesque. Would you believe it is a genetic mutation, though? There are some mutations that both people and animals share, and this one is vitiligo!
Sometimes a genetic mutation doesn’t affect color patterns so much as it does body structure. This cat hit the genetics jackpot with an illustriously long tail. Even she looks surprised at how long it is.
Pythons are cool enough on their own with all of their cold, slithering, strong, and sneaky attributes. This snake’s DNA decided to take its cool-factor to new heights, though, with the rare color pattern of its skin. While we are used to seeing bright yellow, green, or even albino pythons, this black python with gold ring patterns stands out even more than its brilliantly colored friends.
Peacocks are one of the most gorgeous birds to walk the earth already. Particularly the males, with their majestic splays of colorful feathers. Nature never seems to outdo herself though, as it has proven with this amazing peacock that is only half albino, allowing it to stand out in any season!
Nature beats out people in terms of creating beauty any day of the week. While millions of people spend hundreds to thousands of dollars on makeup every year, as well as countless hours applying it, nature builds beauty right into her subject. Like this bunny who has a smokey set of eyes that will put the efforts of any makeup artist to shame.
It’s not all that rare or unnatural to see different colors pop up in patterns on animals and insects. Even a lack of color like that in albinos, while considered rare compared to most, are more prevalent than other genetic rarities involving color. Like this grasshopper who, instead of a complete lack of color or a slight change in pattern, ditched its greens altogether in favor of a brilliant pink hue.
Australian shepherd dogs are perhaps one of the most fantastic and diverse examples of genetics at play. With over four different types of possible patternings and color combinations, you never really know what you can expect out of one of these beauties. This dog clearly had some indecisive DNA going on because it took the best of all patterns and put them on full display!
No matter how much breeding people involve themselves in or how much they aim for a set trait in an animal, nature will always trump their efforts. German shepherds are gorgeous dogs all on their own, but nature sure seemed to favor this one. With a black face, short pointed ears, and piercing blue eyes set in tan rings of fur, this Shephard has a much more wild and beautiful look to it than its already beautiful buddies.
People have been using colors to identify themselves along with team preferences since color options in clothing became available. This is most obvious in sports teams that usually have a scheme of two to three colors going on. Well, nature is a fan, too, and chose to make this cow’s DNA express itself as a Steeler’s fan, even sporting the number of its favorite player!
Nature definitely has a sense of humor, and sometimes it’s expressed in our DNA. While some creatures, like raccoons, sport adorable little masks that are suited to their night-time thieving personalities, other times nature brands animals that would otherwise be inconspicuous. Like this cat who is probably leading a feline criminal ring in town.
Now, we have seen what nature can do with lobster colors, such as splitting it right down the middle with two completely different colors. This lobster, though, expressed an entirely different genetic mutation. Instead of binary colors, this guy is a deep blue as pure as the sea! No wonder they aren’t easily found!
We have seen how a genetic mutation can cause a human to have insane amounts of strength in the comic books. This usually is only depicted as happening to people, though, leaving countless people daydreaming about falling into a vat of radioactive material or being bitten by some mutated spider. Nature gets the last laugh, though, by giving this ultra-desired mutation to cow via a mutation in their myostatin gene.
Deer are beautiful and majestic forest creatures in everyday life, but did you know that there is an even more fantastical creature among them? The unicorn of the forest, a piebald deer is a species of the white-tailed deer born of two parents carrying the recessive gene. Comprising only 2% of the deer population, these beautiful deer are a true forest rarity.
Strange variances in cat skin and fur patterns is nothing new, and is one of the many things we love about them. When it is seen on the big felines in the wild though, it presents a little more of a head-scratcher. Researches recently thought the “King Cheetah” was an entirely separate species from normal patterned cheetahs, until they discovered that the pattern difference is actually a result of a mutated gene that the King Cheetah shares with Tabby cats.
Possums can be described as many things, but beautiful has never been one of them. Often considered to be made of the stuff of nightmares with their beady eyes and hissy nature, this Australian possum will do away with that notion entirely. A genetic mutation causes these field possums to come out a beautiful golden hue with a much adored Pikachu-like face!
Humpback whales are not common sea creatures by comparison to their former population. So, it is even more rare to catch a glimpse of an albino humpback. This whale who has been endearingly named Migaloo, is so rare that he has become famous!
Chicken comes in many shapes, sizes and colors. Even albino chicks aren’t considered all that rare. This Ayam Cemani chicken, on the other hand, has a mutation that leaves his entire body a beautiful, shimmering black color that includes its skin and organs!
Squirrels are adorable little fluff ball creatures that are familiar the world over. Cuteness was perfected in this tiny, rambunctious treehopper. Even though people might not think there was anything to improve upon, clearly this squirrel’s DNA wanted to stand out, and so it did.
Panda bears are basically an international icon in terms of cuddly cuteness. Their big black and white patches that emerge out of their super fluffy fur on their chubby bodies is enough to make anyone giddy with cuteness overload. This Panda wasn’t content to be your typical bamboo-munching blubber-ball, though, and came out with beautiful light brown patches instead of the typical black.
Not all mutations can be blamed on the natural order of things. This dog took on the gorgeous color and spot pattern of a cheetah as a result of mixed breeding. Talk about winning the genetic lottery!
Cardinals are iconic birds known for their brilliant red splash of color often seen against a white backdrop of snow. Even these beautiful birds sometimes take a genetic gamble, though, and change their color. This results in the much rarer Yellow Cardinal that looks like a blur of sunlight in wintertime.
Genes and DNA are a strange thing, to be sure. Not only can it affect colors, markings, or mass, but it can also change your hair pattern, too. This cat’s DNA is decidedly against the cold, because this larger than life kitty has been blessed with a fur coat fit for a bear!
The natural world, including the animal kingdom, is full of biological diversity. Anything extra is simply a genetic bonus for the lucky winner. This skulk of foxes are all winners in the lottery of life, boasting every beautiful color imaginable for the sly, furry friends.
You’ve heard that “the eyes are the windows to the soul” before, but this cat is changing that figure of speech altogether. With a pool of blue, green, black, and brown all swimming together, this cat’s eyes are windows to the whole world. Genetics win again!
Sometimes nature allows the strangest things. Having similar genetics, male zebras have on occasion bred with female horses to create their very own unique offspring. Although they are usually sterile, the lovechild of the horse and zebra have resulted in the Zorse that carries on the strange and beautiful patternings of both parents.
Primates like Gorillas and Chimpanzees have already been recognized as having very human-like traits, including showing signs of intelligence and self-awareness. It seems that evolution is not quite done in connecting us to these incredible creatures. This Gorilla underwent a genetic mutation that gave him white eyes surrounding his iris, making him appear that much more human!
Any animal can carry recessive genes that could pop up at any given moment along a hereditary timeline, and Dalmatians are no different. Unlike an albino Dalmatian, which lacks all color and has pink eyes, these Lemon Dalmatians take on a different mutation. Rather than black spots, a recessive gene that produces red colors has created these reddish-brown spots in this Dalmatian while keeping her big doe-brown eyes.
Albinism, though rare, is quite common in comparison to certain other genetic mutations. Melanism, on the other hand, is less known and albinism’s exact opposite. Instead of white, these animals are black where they would normally be colorful, but this jaguar’s predominantly black coat overlaying his gorgeous spots is one of the rarest forms you’ll ever see!
Golden Retrievers make some of the absolute best companions, and some of the prettiest, too! This dog is a rarity among treasures, though, as his genetic expression sets him apart from all others. What his owner’s describe as “a little black freckle” has given him the rarest, most adorable face to ever be seen on a retriever.
Genetic diversity can take the most adorable of animals and make them that much cuter. Who would have ever thought that a baby seal could look any more precious than they already do? Well, nature, apparently.
Felines certainly comprise some of the most majestic looking creatures on earth, especially those that are found in the wild. Although all of them are downright beautiful, some of them possess certain rare qualities that make them that much more stunning. This Golden Tiger is a shining example of how the genetic lottery creates new beauty.
Sea turtles are beautiful creatures recognized the world over for their intricate shells. This turtle definitely wins the genetic jackpot, though, with a shell that looks as though it radiates light. The shell pattern is also unique to these free-flowing reptiles.
Green eyes are a rarity even among people. So, this cat hit it big in the genetic lotto when she was born with stunning emerald green eyes enveloped in red and white fur. Maybe she’s got Irish in her blood?
Sometimes nature decides to get a good laugh while organizing the genes of each animal on the planet. This cat got the brunt of it with his slick white mustache. We love the perfect handlebar shape.