Flamingos (Phoenicopteridae) are a family of large wading birds that inhabit shallow salt or brackish water. They live freely in Africa, southwestern and central Asia, Southern Europe, as well as in South and Central America. Below you will find ten facts that you should know about the pinkish majestic bird!

That’s Why Flamingos Have Their Pink Color…

Flamingos aren’t originally pink. They acquire their color by consuming shrimp. So, in other words, watch out for your shrimp consumption! [source]

Toilet Flamingos Became an Iconic Image of Hurricane Andrew in the USA…

During Hurricane Andrew in 1992, Miami Zoo placed 30 flamingos in the restroom to wait out the storm. The toilet was also adapted with hay to make them as comfortable as possible. The image, which you see below, became one of the most iconic from the hurricane. [source]

There’s at Least One African Flamingo in the Wild in the USA…

An African flamingo – more famously known by the rather unappealing namenumber 492” – managed to escape from a zoo in Kansas, USA, in 2005. Since then, it has roamed in the wild and has yet to be found. [source]

Voted Municipally to Make Plastic Flamingos the Official City Bird…

In 2009, the city council of Madison, Wisconsin, USA, voted to make plastic flamingos the official city bird. Speaking of plastic flamingos; there are more plastic flamingos than real ones. I don’t know if that’s alarming or fascinating. [source]

Can Become Incredibly Old…

Greater, who lived to at least 83 years of age, was the world’s oldest flamingo. In 2008, she was attacked and beaten almost blind by four teenagers. The flamingo was euthanized six years later due to arthritis. [source]

Imagine if We Humans Were Equally Resilient…

Flamingos can sleep in frozen ponds at night, drink boiling water, and survive conditions that expose them to arsenic and other toxic gases. In other words, they are incredibly hardy creatures. [source]

Eat Upside Down – Quite Literally…

Flamingos can only eat with their heads upside down (as seen in the picture below) and have erectile tissue in their mouths. [source]

Flamingo Tongues Were Considered a Delicacy Among Romans…

Flamingo tongues were considered a delicacy in ancient Rome, but poets of that era discouraged bird slaughter for consumption, so it wasn’t a delicacy that reached the general population. [source]

Difficult-to-Place Birds…

Flamingos have long been a complex group of birds to classify. According to classical taxonomy, the family Phoenicopteridae was often placed in the separate order Phoenicopteriformes, but has also been placed in the order Ciconiiformes. [source]

Not Born Pink…

It is only during their adult – meaning the stage when they are sexually mature – that they acquire their pink color. During their juvenile stage (before sexual maturity), they are more gray in color. [source]

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