Visit to the Los Angeles Zoo | Why are flamingos pink?
Flamingos in the Los Angeles Zoo!
When we visit our family in California, we often go to the Los Angeles Zoo with our little grandson. He loves this place very well, knows his way around well and knows exactly where to find which animal.
His absolute favorites include the flamingos, which is always the first port of call for our visits.
Flamingos, with their bright feathers, stilt-like legs and their S-shaped neck, are probably the most well-known waterfowl. There are 5 different species of flamingos, which can be found, for example, in South, Central and North America but also in Europe.
Due to their different habitat, the flamingos differ in color. Some flamingos glow in bright pink, others have feathers in bright pinks. Others are white or show orange and red colors.
Have you ever wondered, why are flamingos pink or wearing colors in all shades of pink or even orange?
I had not really thought about it yet and admittedly had no idea. The nice woman who stood next to me with her children probably did not feel any different. They just wanted to know from her why the flamingos are pink and she did not know the answer. She picked up her cell phone and started to google it, but did not get it because she was interrupted loudly.
My little grandson, at the age of three and a half, spoke up.
"Oh, I know, they're just because they eat a lot of shrimp." The woman said, "Really about that?" Noah said, "the little flamingo babies are still very light. If they drink too much carrot juice, they will but also orange. "That came out of his mouth like a pistol and we were all stunned. Of course, my daughter-in-law was delighted, she knew he was right, because she had explained it to him during a visit there.
My grandson is really right, flamingos get their wonderful color through pigments in the organisms, which is rich in carotenoid pigments. These include algae, crustaceans and hard-shelled animals such as shrimp or snails. Carotenoids are so important to preserve the distinctive color of the flamingo. Over time, the plumage turns pink and sometimes orange or red.
In zoos, flamingos get a carotenoid-rich diet, such as shrimp and clams, to preserve their typical color. If flamingos stopped eating this food, their color would slowly disappear.
There's one more thing that makes Flamingo unmistakable, it's often on just one leg, but why?
Noah also knew a plausible answer. He said that they would not feel as cold as if they were standing with both legs in the cold water. With only one leg, they do not lose so much body heat.
Is not it amazing what a small child can learn by a visit to the zoo at the age of four and then pass it on?
Why are flamingos pink, you can not explain it better.