A flamingo feeds with its head upside down in the water. It sweeps its bill from side to side. The outer edges of both the upper and lower part of its bill are lined with two rows of comblike bristles called lamellae (luh-MEL-ee). As the bird sucks water into its mouth, the lamellae keeps large sea creatures from going in, while letting the foods it eats get through. Flamingos pump the water in and out with their tongues as they swallow their food. The lamellae on the smaller flamingo species are close together, and they keep out everything except algae (AL-jee), diatoms, and other very tiny organisms. The larger flamingo species have fewer lamellae and they eat a more varied diet including insects, snails, and brine shrimp.
- Flamingos: Phoenicopteriformes - Behavior And Reproduction
- Flamingos: Phoenicopteriformes - Habitat
- Other Free Encyclopedias
Animal Life ResourceBirdsFlamingos: Phoenicopteriformes - Physical Characteristics, Habitat, Diet, Behavior And Reproduction, Greater Flamingo (phoenicopterus Ruber): Species Account - GEOGRAPHIC RANGE, FLAMINGOS AND PEOPLE, CONSERVATION STATUS