The common phrase that “you are what you eat” is certainly true for everyone’s favorite bright pink bird. Why are the flamingos pink ? Captive flamingos are fed a special diet that includes prawns (a pigmented crustacean) or additives such as beta-carotene or canthaxanthin; otherwise, they would be white or pale pink. All flamingo species, from the salt flats of Curacao to the mangrove forests of Mexico and the mudflats of Bombay, get most of their nutrition from different species of algae, alon… The experience of seeing a flock of flamingos is not something you are likely to forget. Updated on: 27 Oct 2020 by John Staughton Flamingos of different species display a broad range of pink, salmon, red and crimson colors based on their diet of algae , crustaceans and shrimp, which possess specific carotenoid compounds that accumulate in an adult flamingo’s feathers! 38 Answers. These are the foods that turn flamingos pink. thanx ahead of time to anyone who takes the time to answer! Flamingos got their name for the bright color. That color comes from pigments in the foods that flamingos eat. A meaningful answer, is not it ? 5 Full Screen Exit Full Screen Video trouble? The main diet of the flamingo is brine-shrimp and blue-green algae. Why are some flamingos more pink than others? They are made into what we, as humans, expect them … 7 Reasons Why Pink Flamingos Are Fabulous. Though both shrimp and algae are cornerstones of the flamingo diet, algae tends to have a higher concentration of canthaxanthin. Standing proudly in the sunlight in large flocks, a “pat” of flamingos is quite glorious to behold, but their unique coloring has a very simply explanation. The bright pink color of flamingos comes from beta carotene, a red-orange pigment that’s found in high numbers within the algae, larvae, and brine shrimp that flamingos eat in their wetland environment. Favorite Answer. Unfortunately for them, the color is more of a bizarre orange than the natural tan from melanin! Life's Little Mysteries explains what turns them a vibrant pink. But why are their feathers pink and the others birds are not? For flamingos, the ِ phrase “You are ِ what you ِ eat” holds more ِ truth than ِ it ِ might for ِ humans. Flamingos are just one of 12 majestic birds found in nature. If a flamingo is kept away from its natural foods, it will slowly lose the pigments. But there are some types of algae that are much more obviously pink, like the algae that lives in this lake in Australia, named Lake Hillier, but known around the world as Australia's Pink Lake. This is because one of the first characteristics of a flamingo you are likely to name is their rosy pink color. Answer Save. Indeed the word ‘flamingo‘ derives from the Latin word ‘flamenco’, meaning ‘flame-coloured’… but why are flamingos pink? Peggy P. Lv 4. It is also popular as one of the most colorful birds because of the beautiful pink […] Why are some flamingos more pink than others? Flamingos that eat mostly algae are more deeply colored than birds that eat the small animals that feed off of algae. Flamingos are not by themselves pink and are born with grey feathers. Editorial intern, Encyclopaedia Britannica. The birds are in fact born a dull gray. There are six different kinds of flamingos, but their color depends more … Despite its blue-green name, these algae can be red, purple, brown, yellow and even orange. You may have lost your Internet connection. You'll find these fellas in the Caribbean, where blue-green algae is most plentiful. The vibrancy of the color depends largely on the health of the flamingo. Flamingos are pink or orange or white because of what they eat. Because they eat a lot of blue-green algae. Pink plastic flamingos are one of the most famous lawn ornaments in the United States, along with the garden gnome. Flamingos are one of the most iconic creatures in the animal kingdom, easily identified by their bright pink plumage. Are all flamingos pink? In zoos, flamingos eat a special diet that contains pigments to give them their famous color. just a random thought but it would be nice to know. The algae is rich in a substance called carotenoids, a pigment produced by many differe… They are born with grey feathers, which gradually turn pink in the wild because of a natural pink dye called canthaxanthin that they obtain from their diet of brine shrimp and blue-green algae. Enzymes in the liver break down the carotenoids into the pink and orange pigment molecules that are absorbed by fats deposited in the feathers, bill, and legs of the flamingos. Dr. Helmenstine holds a Ph.D. in biomedical sciences and is a science writer, educator, and consultant. So what causes the birds to turn pink? Pink flamingos' feathers are actually a light gray color when they hatch. A human, on the other hand, would need to eat quite a lot of carrots (a food heavy in carotenoids, which also gives the substance its name) to turn a shade of orange. Captive flamingos are a notable exception; they may turn a pale pink if they are not fed carotene at levels comparable to the wild. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. In the activity, Animal Dances, students learn about animal displays by dancing along with ostriches, flamingos, and spiders. wild flamingoes eat shrimp . Flamingos have always enjoyed a special recognition for their vibrant pink colour. Though flamingos are most famously known for being pink, one of the most frequently-asked questions about flamingos is why they turn blue. There are four different species of flamingos, all of which are native to South America. One important point about the flamingo’s colouring is that their pink … Fluffy little flamingo chicks are whitish-gray downy covered. They start off with grey or white plumage that gradually turns pink in their first couple of years. The pink color mostly comes from the blue-green algae that flamingos eat. So, you typically find deeply-colored pink and orange flamingos in the Caribbean, yet pale pink flamingos in drier habitats, like Lake Nakuru in Kenya. Flamingos are one of the most popular and well known beautiful birds across the globe because of its red-purple coloured feather. Flamingos can range in color from pale pink to vibrant red. Young flamingos have gray plumage that changes color according to their diet. People eat foods containing carotenoids, too. Now that you know what gives flamingos their distinctive colour, find out which “facts” about animals you have all wrong . The molecules act as antioxidants and are used to produce vitamin A. Actually, flamingos are not pink. Flamingo feathers have this wonderful rosy pink color. How many other pink animals can you think of? With a name that derives from the Spanish or Portuguese word meaning “flame-colored,” the birds are known for their vibrant appearance. To actually color the physical attributes, carotenoids must be ingested in very large amounts. hi, i was wondering why flamingos are pink??? Examples of carotenoids humans eat include beta-carotene in carrots and lycopene in watermelon, but most people do not eat enough of these compounds to affect their skin color. They are grey or white, and turn pink over the first couple of years of their lives. Have you ever heard the phrase “you are what you eat”? However when Flamingos were first brought to zoos from the wild, the keepers were dismayed to find they lost their bright pink colour and turned a grey/white shade. For example, the pink feathers of some flamingos living in zoos started to fade until zookeepers started feeding the birds a synthetic version of the pink dye. But flamingos aren't actually born pink. Some flamingos are darker or brighter shades of pink; some contain tints of orange and red; and others are pure white. Birds are one of the the most colorful creatures in the animal kingdom. One important point about the flamingo’s colouring is that their pink colour is not a hereditary trait. Fluffy little flamingo chicks are whitish-gray downy covered. One of these is their color. They mostly feed on algae and crustaceans which contain pigments called carotenoids. Flamingos eat algae and crustaceans that contain pigments called carotenoids. If you have ever wondered why flamingos are pink, you are not alone. Flamingos eat through a process called filter-feeding. Flamingos of different species display a broad range of pink, salmon, red and crimson colors based on their diet of algae, crustaceans and shrimp, which possess specific carotenoid compounds that accumulate in an adult flamingo’s feathers! The pink color in the algae that flamingos eat isn't always easy to see. For the most part, these pigments are found in the brine shrimp and blue-green algae that the birds eat.