Rare yellow turtle spotted for only second time looks like melted cheese

The unusual bright yellow creature, an albino Indian flapshell turtle, got rescued in West Bengal, India. And the internet thinks it looks like cheese, or an egg yolk.

Bonnie Burton
Journalist Bonnie Burton writes about movies, TV shows, comics, science and robots. She is the author of the books Live or Die: Survival Hacks, Wizarding World: Movie Magic Amazing Artifacts, The Star Wars Craft Book, Girls Against Girls, Draw Star Wars, Planets in Peril and more! E-mail Bonnie.
Bonnie Burton

This rare bright yellow turtle was spotted in India.

Debashish Sharma/Twitter

Turtles don't just come in shades of green. They come in yellow too. A rare yellow version of the albino Indian flapshell turtle was just spotted and rescued from a village pond in West Bengal, India.

Indian Forest Service officer Debashish Sharma posted photos of the rare yellow turtle (Lissemys punctatais) on Twitter last week. 

The Indian flapshell turtle is commonly found in South Asian countries like Pakistan, Sri Lanka, India, Nepal, Bangladesh and Myanmar. 

According to wildlife biologist Sneha Dharwadkar, the rare yellow color of the turtle may be due to the lack of a pigment called tyrosine present in high amounts in reptiles. A genetic mutation or possible congenital disorder is likely responsible for the lack of tyrosine. 

Indian flapshell turtles are typically are only 9 to 14 inches (22 centimeters to 35 centimeters) long, and like to eat frogs, snails and aquatic vegetation. 

This marks the second spotting of the rare yellow turtle species. The first happened in Odisha, India in July. In 2016, wildlife volunteers spotted a green albino turtle on an Australian beach.

News of this rare yellow turtle has, not surprisingly, made a splash on social media, where people are comparing the creature to melted cheese, Moon Pies and egg yolks. Here are some of my favorite reactions. 

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