New sheep colours found in Iceland

“What seems to me to be that there is a really remarkable genetic phenomenon happening. This is definitely a mutation in the genes of colour,” commented agricultural scientist Jón Viðar Jónmundsson, who told Morgunblaðið that “two previously unknown sheep’s colours have been discovered here.

Never seen this kind of behaviour in genetics

“I’ve tried to introduce this to all the geneticists in Iceland who are familiar with colour inheritance. They don’t recognize any parallels. We haven’t seen this kind of behavior in genetics before.”

The ram called Wolf seen in the accompanying picture was a wolf-gray. This is not all, for it was also a white lamb that came from under the dark parents. The wolf-gray colour is new in sheeps in Iceland and the white colour coming from darker parents is also unheard of.

Of course, we know inheritances from sheep’s colours very well from the research of the late Stefán Aðalsteinsson. His research on inheritance in the colouring of Icelandic sheep is the most widely known in the world and is applicable everywhere,” Jónmundsson says.


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