What gives flamingos their trademark pink color? – 2017

What gives flamingos their trademark pink color?

-Their diet
-Iron in the soil
-Hormone levels at sexual maturity

At birth, flamingos are a dull gray color. It isn’t their DNA that gives them their iconic pink coloring; they are what they eat. The trademark flamboyant pink that flamingos sport derives from beta carotene in their diets. The red-orange pigment is present in large amounts in the algae, brine shrimp and larvae on which flamingos dine in their wetland homes. The beta carotene breaks down in their digestive systems into pigments stored in their livers and deposited in their feathers and skin. Source: Britannica.com

Their diet

Scientific name: Phoenicopterus
Speed: James’s flamingo: 60 km/h
Higher classification: Phoenicopteridae
Height: Greater flamingo: 1.1 – 1.5 m, James’s flamingo: 91 cm, Lesser flamingo: 80 – 90 cm
Mass: Greater flamingo: 2 – 4 kg, James’s flamingo: 2 kg, Lesser flamingo: 1.2 – 2.7 kg
Did you know: The Romans considered flamingo tongue a delicacy. audubonnatureinstitute.org

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