A rare albino bottlenose dolphin was spotted off the Florida coast in December 2014.
Danielle Carter, a volunteer with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), spotted the albino dolphin on Dec. 10 in Brevard County's Indian River Lagoon and shot a video.
The video of the dolphin has been uploaded to YouTube, but FWC officials have not revealed the exact location where the albino dolphin was spotted as they fear that people might flock to the location to spot the marine mammal.
"We thought it was worth sharing due to their rarity but we are not able to give out an exact location for the sake of the animal's safety," said Brandon Basino, spokesman for the Fish and Wildlife Research Institute. "We did not ask for a specific location for this very reason."
The latest albino dolphin sighting is not the first but it is quite rare. There have been only 15 reported sightings of the albino bottlenose dolphins in the last five decades. The first sighting was reported in 1962.
About 20 species of whales, porpoises and dolphins are believed to exhibit albinism. Albino creatures lack the melanin pigments in their body, which makes them lighter in color. Albinism is normally characterized as creatures with light skin, not always white. An albino usually has light-colored hair, red eyes and sometimes impaired vision.
Because of the rarity of sightings, not a lot is known about albino dolphins, but they are also referred to as pink dolphins due to the color of their skin.
The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) reported that an albino bottlenose dolphin calf was also spotted along with its mother in June 2007 at the Calcasieu Lake. Even though the calf was albino, the mother had the normal gray-colored skin found in typical bottlenose dolphins.
Albinism is usually genetic and passed down through recessive genes from both parents. However, in some cases, the genes are actually inherited from one parent only.
Check out the video of the rare albino dolphin.