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Rare dolphin in Japan turns pink when emotional

Talk about wearing your heart on your sleeve.

Just like us human beings who blush or flush when we are embarrassed or angry, a rare albino dolphin in Japan can't hide its feelings from anybody.

This bottlenose dolphin has captivated visitors at his home at the Taiji Whale Museum, a water park in Southern Japan.

Being albino, this means that it has been born without melanin - the pigment which gives colour to both eyes and skin.

So when it gets emotional, it turns from white to pink.

The phenomenon results from the animal's thin skin, which means it's blood vessels can cause a change in skin tone depending on its emotional state.

Mirror Online and Mail Online reported that the fascinating creature can often be seen turning pink when it swims with other regular grey coloured dolphins.

Whether it's feeling angry, uncomfortable, embarrassed, stressed or sad, no one can tell still.

PHOTO: YOUTUBE/ TOPYT

Believed to be the second such dolphin at the aquarium, scientists said that it is fortunate to be alive.

Without colouration like other regular grey dolphins, these albino dolphins are easy prey out at sea.

Drama once surrounded Taiji Whale Museum's star attraction.

Environmental activists had filed a lawsuit against the museum in 2014, claiming that it had not allowed experts to check on the elusive dolphin's safety.

But the museum claimed that the creature's health had been monitored through periodic blood tests, and that they are keeping it "physically and mentally healthy" for further research.

This particular blushing dolphin was discovered after it was first captured by fishermen and sold to the museum.

The Taiji hunt was made notorious by the 2009 Oscar-winning documentary The Cove, which depicted fishermen capturing hundreds of dolphins for aquariums or to be killed for meat.

Japan's Wakayama Prefecture, which includes Taiji, reported that 1,218 dolphins and small whales were captured there in 2011, though it did not specify how many of those captured were killed.

The rare albino was one that did survive.

Since then it has become the subject of a detailed study by the Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology and the Institute of Cetacean Research which recently published a paper on the fascinating creature.

 WATCH: This dolphin can't hide its feelings

 

 

Source: Mirror UK, The Daily Mail, YouTube

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