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Bird. The greater flamingo is the tallest flamingo. Flamingos can live in hostile environments like hot volcanic lakes - their name comes from the Latin word for flame. Their feathers range in color from hot red to pale pink. The color comes from a diet rich in carotenoids, found in crustaceans such as shrimp. Without a source of carotenoids, their feathers turn white. Flamingos are filter feeders. Holding their beaks upside down in the water, they feed by sucking in water and straining it through a filter structure of horny plates that line their beaks.
Scientific Name Lifespan
Phoenicopterus ruber 20 years; 44 in captivity
Omnivore. Seeds, blue-green algae, crustaceans, mollusks, and insects.
Predators and Threats
Vultures, storks, eagles, black kites, lions, leopards, cheetahs, jackals, and humans, among others.
Lagoons and salt lakes, mangrove swamps, tidal flats, and sandy islands in the inter tidal zone; Tropical and Subtropical regions: parts of South America; Africa, India, Europe, and Asia.