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The coat color of flamingos is a marker of their level of aggression

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A study reveals many small secrets related to the pink color of the cloak of flamingos and how this is connected with the individual’s level of aggression, his state of health and the ability to reproduce.

Flamingos are beautiful birds with long legs and bright colors. Their curved beak is perfectly adapted to help these animals feed effectively and is used by them upside down. Another famous detail of these creatures, which has also inspired some famous anecdotes, is to balance on one leg. But a study, published in the journal ethology, reveals other interesting details regarding the colored coat of these animals. The study was prepared by scientists from theUniversity of Foreign and WWT Slimbridge Wetland Center, an English nature reserve. In this research we analyze how the pink coat of these creatures is an indicator of how aggressive the animal is with its fellow humans when it is competing for food, whether it is ready or not for reproduction and, in general, it is an indicator of good health.

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The particular pink tint it is given by some specific substances called carotenoids that are found inside the foods that flamingos usually consume. And that’s how scientists made a series of observations studying these creatures inside large spaces and other more restricted ones, in the presence or absence of a swimming pool. Well, individuals forced to eat in confined spaces had a more aggressive behavior towards their fellow men and spent less time eating. In contrast, animals that lived in larger spaces spent twice as long searching for food and were less aggressive. From the observation it turned out that the most colorful ones were also the most aggressive ones. The color is, in fact, connected to a better state of health of the animal. The more he eats, the more the carotenoids present in food contribute to coloring the coat and this also affects his health and general condition, so those who are better fed can spend more energy to fight.

Also there possibility to reproduce it is connected to the color of the coat and the more it is lit, the more the flamingo is ready to mate. Being therefore animals that have a complex social structure, which provides for the coexistence, in the same territory, of many individuals, scientists tell us that it is essential, for them, to have a lot of space to live in order to be able to feed properly and without triggering a competition and a struggle for the food resource.

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