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Flamingo Gifts

Flamingos often stand on one leg, the other tucked beneath the body. The reason for this behavior is not fully understood. Some suggest that the flamingo, like some other animals, has the ability to have half of its body go into a state of sleep, and when one side is rested, the flamingo will swap leg and then let the other half sleep, but this has not been proven. Recent research has indicated that standing on one leg may allow the birds to conserve more body heat, given they spend a significant amount of time wading in cold water.

What do Flamingos Eat?

What Do Flamingos Eat?

Wild flamingos eat algae, small insects, and small crustaceans like shrimp. These foods are rich in beta-carotene. Beta-carotene is the pigment that gives carrots their orange coloring. It also tints flamingos' feathers pink. According to Brandie Smith, interim director of conservation and science at the Association of Zoos and Aquariums in Maryland, many zoos have flamingos on diets with lots of beta-carotene so they keep their pink plumage. Some zoo flamingos eat commercially prepared food without beta-carotene, so they may be paler pink or white.

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Question by Shavonna L., Washington




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