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
  • 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
MAY 11, 2020
Plants & Animals
Ever Wonder How a Bee Ascends to the Rank of Queen?
MAY 11, 2020
Ever Wonder How a Bee Ascends to the Rank of Queen?
Virtually every beehive sports its own queen bee, but there can be only one. Beneath her are hundreds or thousands of pe ...
MAY 17, 2020
Space & Astronomy
Here's Why it's So Critical That We Understand the Sun
MAY 17, 2020
Here's Why it's So Critical That We Understand the Sun
The Sun is just one of countless stars that exist in our universe. But it’s one of the most prominent because it&r ...
MAY 21, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
The Nature of Glass Still Dumbfounds Scientists
MAY 21, 2020
The Nature of Glass Still Dumbfounds Scientists
There are many things we humans have come to perfect, but don't yet fully understand. Take glass for example, scientists ...
MAY 24, 2020
Space & Astronomy
Here's Why SpaceX is Using Heavy Stainless Steel to Make Starship
MAY 24, 2020
Here's Why SpaceX is Using Heavy Stainless Steel to Make Starship
SpaceX is perhaps best known for its reusable Falcon 9 rocket, the same variety that will be lofting astronauts into out ...
JUN 01, 2020
Space & Astronomy
Why SpaceX's Demo-2 Launch This Past Weekend Was So Significant
JUN 01, 2020
Why SpaceX's Demo-2 Launch This Past Weekend Was So Significant
If you somehow managed to miss the exciting news this past weekend, NASA and SpaceX set an important precedent in Americ ...
JUN 05, 2020
Plants & Animals
World Environment Day 2020 Celebrates Biodiversity
JUN 05, 2020
World Environment Day 2020 Celebrates Biodiversity
Today is World Environment Day, and this year’s theme is biodiversity. As defined by the United Nations (UN), biod ...
Loading Comments...