Zoo #28 – Flamingo

Built like tower cranes on feet
And rendered pink by what they eat,
Thank the lord that politicians
Do not provide them with nutrition.
         (Because nobody wants a shit-coloured flamingo).

Come on, everybody knows the joke about ‘you are what you eat’, but flamingos, at least to some extent, really are.  Everybody loves a flamingo don’t they?  Well no, not me.  Have you seen those beady little eyes?  They may be pink – and nothing pink is ever bad – but surely the knowledge that they only get to be pink by eating certain algae and shrimps gives some pause for thought.  What colour would they be otherwise?  Would they still be cute if they were brown?  Why, evolution being what it is, do they not eat stripy algae so that they are disguised in the reeds?  There must be some natural advantage to being pink.  Maybe it’s a visual warning to all predators: I taste just like one of those god-awful pink wafers that you always get in a biscuit selection, and nobody wants to eat one of those…