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The Distinctive Color of Flamingo

Flamingos are sea birds. But in compare to other sea birds their color is not grey or white or a combination of both the colors. Let’s explore the reason.


If you observe gull, swallow, albatross, auk, fulmar, booby and other sea birds you’ll see that either they have white or grey or a combination of both the colors. But flamingos are totally different than them. They have a very extra ordinary bright pink color. Do they have it just after hatching the eggs? No, rather the new born flamingos have the same grey color like other sea birds. But gradually they develop pink feathers.


If we look at the food taken by some sea birds we’ll see that fish, squid, seal pup, litters, eggs are the diet for most of the marine birds. Albatross feed on squid, jelly fish, fish; seagulls feed on anything, from fish to garbage; gulls, skuas and pelicans will often take eggs, from nesting colonies. As for the flamingos, their staple food is algae and shrimp which are rich in carotene. That is why, when we boil shrimp it becomes pink. The diet makes the plumage of flamingos pink gradually. There is no genetic reason for pink flamingos.


Because of their diet there is color difference among the different species of flamingos. Colors vary from pale pink to vermilion. Now the question is why the color of human skin is not changing though we are taking carotene rich food. The answer is we are taking some other food as our staple food. For human being, if anyone has a lot of carotene rich food like apricots, carrots, mangoes, squash, their skin color will not change as they are eating other food along with these. If anyone thinks to change skin color and increase the intake of carotene rich food that may cause serious health problem. Too much carotene rich food intake may cause health hazards, such as liver damage, problem in immune system and metabolism of the body.


If any change comes in the diet of flamingos then the color of the feathers will change. They will become white as other sea birds.


Flamingos are not born with pink feathers, not they are achieving this after a few days of taking their selective diet. They gradually develop this color and become completely pink at their adulthood.



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