JAN 25, 2018 07:36 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
  • 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
AUG 24, 2018
Videos
AUG 24, 2018
Gut Bacteria May Revolutionize Blood Donations
Scientists from the University of British Colombia have discovered enzymes from gut bacteria that seem to safely turn any blood into O blood, this is espec...
AUG 27, 2018
Space & Astronomy
AUG 27, 2018
NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope Celebrates 15 Years in Space
NASA engineers originally designed the Spitzer Space Telescope to observe the heavens for approximately 2.5 years. But 15 years later, the space observator...
AUG 27, 2018
Videos
AUG 27, 2018
Why Do Turtles Live So Long?
Why do turtles live so long? Apparently, it may have something to do with a slow metabolism which means that turtles need fewer calories than other animals...
SEP 04, 2018
Cancer
SEP 04, 2018
Glyphosate "herbicides" as a carcinogen
You may have heard of glyphosate as it is a chemical that is approved to be used in herbicides. But did you know that it could lead to cancer!!...
SEP 16, 2018
Plants & Animals
SEP 16, 2018
If You Thought T. Rex Was Big, Then Watch This
Dinosaur-themed Hollywood movies have hyped up Tyrannosaurus Rex, making it seem like the king of all dinosaurs. But realistically, T. Rex was quite small...
SEP 17, 2018
Space & Astronomy
SEP 17, 2018
How Common Are Planetary Collisions?
Outer space is nothing short of a galactic free-for-all. Space rocks fly in virtually every direction, sporadically impacting larger objects like moons, pl...
Loading Comments...