You wouldn’t think that flamingoes are extremophiles just from looking at them. It’s like somebody tried to build the vertebrate equivalent of that fungus that lives inside nuclear reactors, and ended up with a gangly pink dinosaur with a spoon for a face.
For everyone in the comments asking how flamingos are extremophiles:
Flamingos can survive in low oxygen, high altitude, high temperatures, low temperatures, high alkaline, they can and will drink boiling water and they can be completely frozen at night and still get up the next morning
Don’t fuck with flamingos
….. Didn’t know most of that
Huh… so that’s why zoos don’t put them somewhere warm during winter.
Oh yeah, this leaves out what I *did* know about them–they can also survive hypersalinity. That is, water so salty it kills practically everything else–water so salty it burns your skin.
American flamingos just drink that shit
(animal death) this is a real undoctored photograph (*though the body was stood up for the shot) of a dead flamingo on the surface of lake natron, a lake so salty and so alkaline that it’s naturally carbonated like soda and would eat through your stomach lining if you drank from it.
When this photo went viral years ago, most people assumed this poor flamingo must have been killed by the lake.
It is actually the lake where 75% of its global population are hatched. This is a photo from the same lake:
Some species of flamingo actually subsist almost entirely on a diet of bacteria! In other words, there is a species of dinosaur that eats only bacteria and lives in lakes so toxic they would kill almost anything else—and it is best known to the average person as a kitschy lawn decoration.
requested by anonymous:
Flamingos can survive in high altitudes, hypersaline conditions, and caustic lakes.
Source: ‘All flamingo species have evolved to live in some of the planet’s most extreme wetlands, like caustic “soda lakes”, hypersaline lagoons or high-altitude salt flats.’
They can survive water so alkaline it burns human skin.
Source: ‘More than a million lesser flamingos breed in Tanzania’s Lake Natron, for instance, a lake fed by hot springs with water so alkaline that it can strip away human skin (one pioneering flamingo researcher named Leslie Brown spent months in Nairobi General Hospital after burning his legs wading out to observe where the birds nested).’
They can drink water at near-boiling temperatures.
Source: ‘They can drink water at near boiling point to collect freshwater from springs and geysers at lake edges. If no freshwater is available, flamingos can use glands in their head that remove salt, draining it out from their nasal cavity.’
The lakes they inhabit can freeze overnight, and the flamingos can survive once it thaws in the morning.
Source: ‘The birds may seem to epitomize the tropics, but they also live in the Andes, 15,000 feet above sea level, where they rest on lakes that freeze around them overnight.
“You’ll see them sitting there like snowballs, frozen on ice,” Dr. Arengo said. “And as the temperature warms up, they thaw out, fluff themselves up and go about their business.”’
The photo is indeed from Lake Natron, taken by photographer Nick Brandt. The content of the lake chemically preserves animal corpses that die there. You can see more photos of this here.
It is also true that 75% of Lesser Flamingos are hatches on Lake Natron.
Source: ‘The lake’s landscape is surreal and deadly—and made even more bizarre by the fact that it’s the place where nearly 75 percent of the world’s lesser flamingos are born.’
Some species of Flamingo eat cyanobacteria or algae.
Source: ‘Flamingos have very specialised diets. And their food is responsible for their famous pink colouration. The two species in Planet Earth II eat a lot of floating microscopic algae, which contains carotenoid pigments, the same types of chemical that make carrots orange. These pigments turn their feathers pink, orange and red – without them, flamingos would be white.’
… @todaysbird ??
yeah they’re just like that