Flamingos add natural color to their feathers to look good and attract mates: study

Monday, October 25, 2010 - 09:50 in Biology & Nature

Flamingos apply natural make-up to their feathers to stand out and attract mates, according to a new study by Juan Amat, from the Estación Biológica de Doňana in Seville, Spain, and colleagues. Their research is the first to demonstrate that birds transfer the color pigments (carotenoids) from the secretions of their uropygial gland for cosmetic reasons. The uropygial or preen gland is found in the majority of birds and is situated near the base of the tail. The study is published online in Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, a Springer journal.

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