Flamingo facts

Flamingos – ‘Makeup’ them for Mate!
         Applying cosmetics to attract the opposite sex is not a specific human attitude;
        it is for some animals too!

The use of colorful compounds to enhance our beauty is something that we humans do on a daily basis.
o Greater flamingos in the wetlands of southern Spain apply natural make-up to their feathers to stand out and attract mates, according to a study by scientists*. The research revealed that the otherwise pale pink flamingos, during breeding season try to make them more colorful by transferring the colored oily pigments secreted by their tail end uropygium gland, by constant rubbing (brushing!) to enhance their beauty.  
It is discovered that many birds deliberately rubbed their cheeks against the preen gland and then immediately onto their neck, breast and back feathers to give them the gorgeous oily reddish-orange color to brighten their look. Interestingly, it’s evidenced   that females make-up much more often than males - just like we human do and they make frequent reapplication , as necessary to stay colorful otherwise it will get faded by sun light !!!
Of course, I hear your murmur, yes, unfortunately we human don't have such glands otherwise we would have saved a lot from costly cosmetics.... ha ha!

I would like to share some more interesting facts about this beautiful bird :
o Flamingos are few of the only creatures designed by nature to survive in the environment of a caustic volcanic lake.
o By tucking one leg in close to its body, the flamingo is able to stay warmer in cooler weather.
o They are one of the few to secret milk like substance to feed their young ones, of course not through teats as they are not mammals. Both parents of the greater flamingos produce milk, as doves and the emperor penguin secrete a kind of milk called “crop milk”, though penguins don’t have crop. This is real milk, a proteins substance secreted by a special gland (not a regurgitated, half-digested food) from the parent’s stomach and the chicks put their bills inside the parent’s mouth to nurse.
o Flamingos' beaks have evolved to skim and filter tiny algae from the water's surface, the diet which helps them to secret the oil to produce the  pink or reddish feather due to the presence of alpha and beta carotenoid pigments.
o Most flamingoes do prefer to rest their head to the right (like us- right or left handers).The left headers are more likely to be involved in aggressive encounters with other birds,to preserve their social cohesion. 
*SOURCES : Amat, J., Rendón, M., Garrido-Fernández, J., Garrido, A., Rendón-Martos, M., & Pérez-Gálvez, A. (2010). Greater flamingos Phoenicopterus roseus use uropygial secretions as make-up Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology DOI: 10.1007/s00265-010-


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Blogger Liara Covert said...

It’s amazing how many different ways exist to explore creativity. Your blog reminds visitors that they are unlimited beings with much untapped potential. Keep smiling and inspiring people.