With”That is just the way it is”. Elephants are gray, canaries are yellow, so why should not flamingos be pink? Well, there really is an excellent reason.
To begin with, young flamingos aren’t pink, they are grey (such as an elephant) for about the first few decades of life, and they turn pink. Not all adult flamingos are pink though most are either pink or a color of red near pink. Of the five species of flamingo in life, the Caribbean flamingo, is truly a very bright red red. Generally speaking, adult flamingos are red, pink, or someplace in between.
Genetics would appear to be the obvious answer, but it’s not the best one. There is the old expression”You are what you eat”, and flamingos are pink due to their diet. If you put a flamingo in captivity, and give it something to eat rather than its regular diet, the bird will so begin to lose its coloring, and become more white than pink. The fact that we do not see more white flamingos in zoos is because the zookeepers are careful to provide the flamingos a distinctive flamingo food, containing all the nutrients they would get in their natural habitats.
A flamingo’s diet is high in beta-carotene, the exact same substance we consume when we eat carrots. Among other things, flamingos eat crustaceans, especially shrimp. Their normal habitat is in shallow lakes and wetlands, where fish have a tendency to flourish. When you think of it, somebody who likes carrots and eats a few a day can choose a slightly orange color for their complexion. That really happens, and isn’t unhealthy although it may seem so.
, you can honestly say it is because they eat shrimp. You can go into some detail with the cartenoid piece if you desire, but for our purposes, just saying fish should suffice. Then if you are pressed, you can cite cartenoids and beta-carotine, like that’s something everybody should already know!
If the individual still does not believe your response, you can let them know that flamingos also fly and march, two more details about flamingos that are accurate. We are so used to seeing flamingos from the zoo only standing on one leg (it is the most comfortable way for them to stand), or as lawn ornaments in the area, we forget they’re quite capable of flight, and actually fly from one location to another in enormous flocks. Insofar as marching is concerned, should you find a group (really a colony) of flamingos on the floor, and watch them over a time period, you will eventually see them .