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The flamingo is a large pink bird that lives in large flocks near alkali lakes in a variety of habitats. When a flamingo flies, its long neck and long legs make a nearly straight line. Flamingos live to be about 50 years old.

Feathers: The flamingo's bright pink color is due to its diet. The carotene from the shrimp in its diet turns its feathers pink. If a flamingo's diet is low in carotene, the feathers become white.

Anatomy: Flamingos have a long neck and very long, pink legs with big, pink, webbed feet. The eyes are orange. Adults grow to be roughly 4 feet (1.2 m) tall. Their long bill turns downward in the middle; it is yellow/orange with a black tip. The large bill is used in filter feeding.

Diet: The flamingo eats small insects, tiny crustaceans (shrimp and other shrimp-like animals), and tiny plants like diatoms and algae. The flamingo eats by putting its head upside-down into the water looking backwards. It takes in water that is rich in tiny organisms and filters nutrients from the water with a comb-like organ on its tongue.

Habitat: Flamingos prefer alkaline (the opposite of acid) waters. Flamingos are native to Central America, South America, Africa, and southwestern Asia. These birds live in warm, lush coastal areas and on cold mountain lakes high in the mountains.

1. When a flamingo eats, is its head right-side-up or upside-down? ___________________________

2. What do flamingos eat? ___________________________________

3. If a flamingo's feathers turn white, its diet is low in ___________________________.

4. What color are the flamingo's eyes? ___________________________

5. On which continents do flamingos live? _________________________________

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