5 Reasons Flamingos Are Fabulous

1. A Flamboyance of Flamingos

Did you know that a group of flamingos is a flamboyance? This is due to the fact that both the words flamingo and flamboyance come from words referring to fire. Flamingo comes from the Spanish and Portuguese flamengo which means 'flame-coloured'. On the other hand, flamboyance in French means 'to flame' or 'flair'.

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Lladró’s new 2023 Flamingos in Pink and Gold

2. Plastic Lawn Flamingos

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An elegant creation contrasting with the kitsch nature of the iconic lawn scuptures.

The iconic pink plastic flamingos were designed by American artist Don Featherstone in 1957 for his employer Union Products. After the release of John Walters' 1972 movie Pink Flamingos, it became a kitsch icon of pop culture. By the 1980s, the lawn ornament became an elaborate upper-class inside joke at themed charity galas. Featherstone eventually won the Ig Nobel Prize for Art in 1996, a satirical prize honouring ideas that make people laugh, but then think afterwards.

3. Their Knees Don't Bend Backwards!

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Flamingo legs actually bend the same as human legs, and what appears to be its knee bending backwards is actually its ankle joint. Flamingo knees are actually located much higher up its legs, hidden by the body and feathers. Still confused? Just imagine that flamingos are actually standing on tiptoe as if they were wearing high heels!

4. Flamingos Get Their Colour From Food

Flamingos are really what they eat. As a flamingo dine on algae, brine shrimp and other aqueous bacteria, its body metabolizes the natural red, yellow or orange pigments found in its food called carotenoids. Carotenoids give carrots their orange colour, or ripe tomatoes their red, and flamingos their vibrant plumage. This also means unhealthy or malnourished flamingos will appear pale or white. Unfortunately, humans metabolize carotenoids differently, so eating more carrots will only turn our skin yellow.

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Lladró’s Flamingos in Pink and Gold

5. Flamingos Can Sleep Standing on One Leg

Flamingos can stand on one foot for long periods of time - even when they sleep. Research suggest that flamingos use more muscle power when standing on two legs instead of one. The one-legged stance is also believed to help them stay warm as birds lose more of their body heat through their uninsulated limbs. Thus, tucking one leg under their belly can limit the amount of heat a flamingo loses.

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