The domestic Crested Ducks, on the left, are descended from the Mallard. The "powder-puff" hairdo is the result of a genetic mutation causing a deformity of the skull.

This crested gene is linked to a lethal condition during incubation. Ducklings carrying both genes for the crest do not survive to hatch. Of those that do hatch, typically 1/3 of them will not have crests.

I am guessing that the black and white duck on the right is also a mallard hybrid, because of his body shape and tightly curled tail feathers.

This photo was taken at a farm north of Port Colborne, Ontario. They had the weirdest collection of ducks and geese I have ever seen.

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