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| Earth on Apr 01, 2011

Unusual bow-tie penguins discovered off southern Chile

“They appear to be all dressed up with nowhere to go,” said Dr. Wills Derekson, who made the discovery.

Scientists have discovered an unusual colony of Magellanic penguins on an isolated island off the coast of southern Chile. Dr. Wills Derekson and his team made the discovery while conducting a wildlife survey in the region. According to Dr. Derekson, these Magellanic penguins had the same plumage (colors, pattern, and arrangement of feathers) of others in the species, except for an odd pattern on the birds’ upper chest, just below the neck, shaped like a bow tie.

This anomalous “bow-tie” pattern has not been seen in other Magellanic penguins in the region. Dr. Derekson believes that he’s found a new subspecies of Magellanic penguin endemic only to this isolated island, and plans to submit a paper on his finding to the Journal of Field Ornithology.

Dr. Derekson has refused to release the location of the island. When asked why, he exclaimed:

Crazy birdwatchers! They’ll be swarming all over the island before you know it, scaring the penguins.

Earthsky pointed out to Dr. Derekson that it’s very unlikely that a new subspecies would be accepted by the scientific community on the basis of a few photographs. He tersely replied:

The safety of the penguins is my utmost concern.

This is not the first time that Dr. Derekson has caused controversy over his alleged discoveries. During a field expedition in Western Zambia, he claimed that he was attacked by three pterodactyl-like flying reptiles, known to the local tribes as Kongamato. These creatures are believed by some to be descendants of flying reptiles that lived during the age of the dinosaurs. There is no concrete evidence that that they exist, not even photographs. When asked about it, Derekson snapped:

They grabbed my camera and ate it. What was I supposed to do?

Look here for more information on discoveries of this kind.