The Pink Animal

Flamingos are one of the most easily recognised animals in the world because of their colour. Their distinct pink colour is like that because of the pigment in their food. The first feathers flamingos produce are grey because they have a very small diet. Adult flamingos are different shades of pink because of the shrimp they eat, no this does not necessarily mean if you feed them all leaves they will turn green! The bacteria in the water they drink also make’s their feathers turn pink and red.

The legs are another distinct feature of the flamingo. Flamingos keep one leg up at their knee to make it easier to lower their neck into the water to eat. Another reason is too keep their webbed feet from wrinkling like our skin does in the bath. They keep switching their legs every hour to stay comfortable. The most important reason though is too keep warm. Their feathers are their heat source but because their legs don’t have them they curl up, one at a time, to stay warm. That is also why they tuck their heads into their body when they sleep.

Their neck is also a remarkable feature. The flamingo has a long neck so they can pick up their food in the water whist standing up. This is also the reason why they have such a big beak.

Flamingos have very large wings to help them fly a long distances. Parents teach their chicks how to fly by jumping off small hills until they are ready to fly for real.