Why is the flamingo pink?

The young of the flamingo beak belong to the genus Beaks. Flamingo’s pink to orange color within 2 – 3 years due to pigmentation from food.

Flamingos live in uninhabited and relatively remote waters – feeding on crustaceans, cyanobacteria, diatom algae, and brine shrimp, which live in these alkaline lakes (the acidity of which burns human flesh from bones). They contain a toxic chemical called carotenoids. . (These are food items that are dangerous to many other animals.)

Flamingos’ special digestive system breaks down these harmful chemicals into functional components & pigments in the liver. These pigments give color to flamingos. Their skin, mucus membrane, fat and even blood are pink. The egg yolk is pink. These flamingos are one of the few birds that feed their young directly on the secretions (milk) produced by the hatchlings, and even this ‘milk’ is bright pink in color. More pink color shows the health and strength of the bird.

The word ‘flamingo’ is derived from the Spanish word ‘flamenco’, which refers to the bright pink or orange color of the feathers.

These herds of flamingos are long-lived birds. At the Adelaide Zoo in Australia, there was an 83-year-old giant flamingo beak. Arayanam died in 2014.

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