NEW SMYRNA BEACH, Fla. (AP)— Two rare white sea turtles have been found along Florida’s east coast.

One was found at Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve along the coast of Flagler and St. Johns counties. The other in New Smyrna Beach.

The Daytona Beach News-Journal reports (http://bit.ly/QtSOG1 ) the unusual coloration of the two turtle hatchlings is known as leucistic, or a lack of pigment. Mike Walsh with the University of Florida’s College of Veterinary Medicine says such animals have some pigment — unlike albinos — either in their skin, feathers or eyes.

Bonnie Breitbeil with the Central Florida Zoo and Botanical Gardens says leucistic animals are uncommon in the wild. She notes that they can become easy targets for prey since they lack the natural coloring to help them blend into their surroundings.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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