Why Are Flamingos Pink?
At first blush, the question sounds almost rhetorical, evoking childhood memories of questions like, ‘Why is water wet?’ or ‘Why is grass green?’ But after our writing team researched the matter, it appears there really is a reason flamingos are pink and, thanks to the Classy Plaques blog, you are about to learn the answer to one of life’s most curious question, ‘Why are flamingos pink?’
Believe it or not, flamingos are born gray and white and do not turn pink for two years. A steady diet of shrimp-like crustaceans consumed with abandon by flamingos is responsible for their famous pink feathers. The birds feathers actually pale in captivity unless their diet is supplemented.
If you see a tall bird with long skinny legs, backwards knee joints, a lean S-shaped neck, a bent bill hook for a nose, and lots of pink feathers, chances are good you’re having a close encounter with a flamingo - unless of course you’re looking at one of the latest ceramic address plaque designs from
Classy Plaques, our new Flamingo House Number Address Plaques.
If you’ve never seen a live flamingo, it’s because you don’t live in a warm and watery tropical estuary or an extensive mudflat surrounding many saline gulfs or alkaline lakes (or because you’ve never been to the zoo).
Here are 10 little-known fun facts about the pink-feathered bird loved by so many:
1) Flamingos don’t really have knees that bend backward. What they do have are long feet with webbed toes. What we refer to as their ‘knee’ is actually their ankle.
2) To the Egyptians, the flamingo was a living personification of the sun god, Ra. Derived from the Latin word flamma, flamingo means ‘flame’. 3) A newly hatched flamingo is born with a straight bill and no pink feathers. The bill curves and the feathers turn pink as the bird matures.
4) A flamingo can live up to 20 years in the wild and 50 years in captivity.
5) A fully grown flamingo has 12 to 16 pink tail feathers that lose their color once they have been molted (shed and replaced by the bird).
6) A flamingo's eye is actually larger than its brain!
7) Flamingos are likely to be the only tall, pink bird in any given locale.
8) Flamingos feed on small organisms like plankton, tiny fish, and fly larvae in muddy flats or shallow water. They stir up the bottom with their long legs and webbed feet and bury their bent bills (or entire heads) to suck up mud and water and filter out tiny, tasty morsels of food.
9) Flamingos are social birds that find safety in numbers. They live, feed, and breed in large groups called colonies that often number in the thousands and tens of thousands.
10) Flamingos are a fun way to greet your guests at the door with your choice of any of our three Flamingo House Number Address Plaques.
Thank you readers for your continued support of our Classy Plaques Studio, we appreciate your business!
Classy Plaques Blogger