White peacock, 1999

Image number: 10410183

White peacock, 1999

‘Your looks were determined when you were in your mother’s womb. Your development as a foetus was subtly orchestrated by a set of genes that are shared by many other animals - including worms. Special genes control the distribution and survival of cells that add colour to feathers, hair and fur. A variation in these ‘white spotting genes’ has made this peacock lose its colour - producing cells and it’s feathers that are therefore white.’

Image number:
Science Museum/Science & Society Picture Library
Image rights:
Science Museum

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