Why are Flamingos Pink?
Flamingos aren’t born pink. They are born with gray feathers. Flamingos become pink as the age due to a diet of organisms like shrimp and red algae which are high in pigments called carotenoids.
FACT: Flamingos eat things like brine shrimp, algae, insect larvae, small fish, and crustaceans. Flamingos that eat only blue-green algae will be darker in color. Flamingos can range from light pink to dark red, and their color depends [at least in part] on their diet.
FACT: Flamingos are one of the oldest species of birds, with fossil remains dating back 30 to 50 million years.
FACT: Carrots, Pumpkins, and sweet potatoes are high in carotenoids too; in fact, lots of edibles are. You can, with effort, turn orange from eating lots of carrots just as a flamingo turns pink from eating shrimp and red algae. This is true for anything with carotenoids, but keep in mind 1. you’ll likely get sick before you can pull off any hue change 2. In order to turn certain colors, like pink from shrimp, you would need a metabolic mechanism to convert the carotenoid to a pink form which we as humans don’t have. So you can turn certain colors from certain foods, but not all colors, and any attempt is bound to make the average person sick.
Why Are Flamingos Pink?. What makes flamingos go from gray to pink? And can the same thing happen in humans? There is only one way to find out.
FACT: The pinker a Flamingo’s wings are, the more impressive it is to other flamingos as it is a sign of a healthy diet, which is an alpha quality. This is why you see them lifting up their wings in groups.