Why are Flamingos Pink?

Have you ever wondered why a Flamingo is pink or orange?

Living in Florida, I see lots of  Flamingos.

Flamingos eat algae or crustaceans which contain pigments called carotenoids.  When Flamingos eat algae, prawns or brine shrimp (crustaceans), enzymes in the liver break down the carortenoids into molecules of  color that is deposited into the legs, bill and feathers.

Flamingos that eat mostly algae have a deeper color than those that feed on crustaceans that eat algae.

What Flamingos eat

People food such as carrots, sweet potatoes and other vegetables also contain carotenoids.  Most people to not eat enough of these vegetables to affect their skin color.

Pink Flamingos of the man-made variety are a hot collectible and can be found on ebay.

Pink Flamingo Search

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