There is a conflict in the world of animals. Flamingo is no exception. A new study found that flamingos were found to be more aggressive with a brighter pink body, a paper published in the journal Ethology on June 8.
Previous studies have shown that bright pink flamingos are healthy and easy to find and mate with, but the study continues.
The subjects were the smallest of the six flamingos (scientific name Phoenicopterus roseus). The bird forms a huge herd of hundreds of thousands to a million in an alkaline lake south of the Saharan.
Paul Rose, a behavioral ecologist at the University of Exeter, author of the paper, believes that the flamingo society is “complex” or not surprising. “Color plays an important role in flamingo society,” he says.
For example, flamingos select colorful individuals for both males and females as mating opponents. But to get an attractive body color, you have to eat properly. A good diet for flamingos is a diet that contains a large amount of red and orange pigment carotenoids.
Rose says. “That pink color tells other individuals that I’m healthy.”
However, according to the study, which observed flamingos in the UK, pink-bright individuals may also be aggressive. Experts believe the findings will help improve the breeding environment for flamingos.
Flamingos are not considered an endangered species so far, but wild populations are declining. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) is classified as near-critical. If the population continues to decline, it will be important to find a way to manage zoo populations well.
In addition to crustaceans, wild flamingos erode aquatic organisms containing carotenoids, such as algae, diatoms, and blue-green algae, maintain a pink body color. In captivity, the same dye is given special pellets.
To investigate the relationship between feather color and feeding aggression, Rose and colleagues observed the feeding behavior of 45 flamingos (24 males and 21 females) at the WWT Slimbridge Wetland Centre, a wildlife sanctuary in Grosstashire, England, and shot 210 videos of 1 minute. Rose rated the body color of 45 birds in four stages from the palestiest one to the brightest four. After that, we focused on the attack behavior and evaluated the feeding behavior. The most common attack was when flamingos were eating close to each other in a small area.
One flamingo showed a quick jab gesture without touching the individual next to it. This is a warning mark, Rose explains. In addition, when the situation escalated, an aggressive individual sometimes poked the companion violently with the beak and grabbed the feather of the companion with the beak while raising a high-pitched voice.
The obedient individual closed the feathers tightly and ran away in an attempt to avoid the conflict. However, in many cases, the aggressive individual chased the fleeing individual and tried to grab the tail.