JAN 25, 2018 7:36 AM PST

Why do flamingos eat upside down?


Why do flamingos eat with their heads all wrapped around, you ask? Well, it's a good question and it all has to do with the fact that they're filter feeders. That means that when they walk around in the shallow waters of whatever salty body of water they're in, they're actually mixing up the little animals and nutrients that are in the mud. Flamingos will eat almost anything, from crustaceans, worms, algae, and insects, to organic debris, plant material, and even fish! But how do they gulp up all these goodies?

When a flamingo is feeding it will put its neck down under the water with its mouth essentially upside. It will then close its mouth and force the water through comb-like extensions on its beak using its tongue in order to push the water out while keeping all the food in. Because flamingos have become so good at this upside-down style of eating, if you compare a flamingo's beak to those of other birds, you will notice that they're reversed. In, fact, flamingos are some of the only animals that can move their top jaw while eating. Want to learn more about this unique animal's feeding habits? Watch the video!
About the Author
BA Environmental Studies
Kathryn is a curious world-traveller interested in the intersection between nature, culture, history, and people. She has worked for environmental education non-profits and is a Spanish/English interpreter.
You May Also Like
DEC 03, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
3-D Printed, Realistic Heart Model for Training Future Physicians
DEC 03, 2020
3-D Printed, Realistic Heart Model for Training Future Physicians
Building a realistic tissue model is critical for training young physicians and surgeons, and yet challenging due to the ...
DEC 10, 2020
Plants & Animals
3M Helps Solve Polar Bear Tracking Problem
DEC 10, 2020
3M Helps Solve Polar Bear Tracking Problem
As climate change continues to alter the Arctic landscape, polar bear research becomes more urgent. Observing animals in ...
JAN 08, 2021
Space & Astronomy
New Findings Suggest Dark Matter Doesn't Exist
JAN 08, 2021
New Findings Suggest Dark Matter Doesn't Exist
The existence of dark matter has been considered a 'given' for decades as a way to understand some of the less e ...
MAY 30, 2021
Space & Astronomy
New Discovery Casts Origin of Milky Way into Doubt
MAY 30, 2021
New Discovery Casts Origin of Milky Way into Doubt
A detailed cross-section of another galaxy, known as YGC 10738, has cast previous ideas of how the Milky Way was formed ...
JUN 17, 2021
Space & Astronomy
Chinese Astronauts Will Live on New Space Station for 3 Months
JUN 17, 2021
Chinese Astronauts Will Live on New Space Station for 3 Months
Astronauts aboard China’s first manned spacecraft in almost five years have reached the new Tiangong space station ...
JUL 15, 2021
Space & Astronomy
Modern Slavery in Greece Spotted from Space
JUL 15, 2021
Modern Slavery in Greece Spotted from Space
Migrant settlements being exploited for work have been spotted with satellite imagery by researchers led by the Universi ...
Loading Comments...