Flamingo that “eat it out”

   Lake Nakuru in Kenya, Africa is a national park established to protect birds and birds, covering an area of ​​188 square kilometers. There are colobus monkeys, jumping rabbits, rock raccoons, black rhinos and other wild animals in the park. The most famous is the flamingo. There are about 2 million flamingos living here, accounting for one-third of the world’s total . The magnificent scene of this group of gorgeously-haired birds gathering on the lake makes Lake Nakuru known as the “bird-watching paradise”.
   The image of the flamingo is widely used as a popular element in the fashion industry, and its bright feather color is deeply rooted in the hearts of the people. As everyone knows, different types of flamingos have different degrees of bright hair. There are six types of flamingos: little flamingo, Andean flamingo, Peruvian flamingo, Chilean flamingo, great flamingo and Caribbean flamingo. Most flamingos only have redness on individual parts of their bodies, such as knees, wings or long legs. Wait, but the Caribbean flamingo is red all over, and it is the most colorful flamingo.
   Flamingos prefer to use marshes or lagoons as their habitat, and the water is rich in algae, plankton, small shrimps and insects. Algae is rich in astaxanthin. Animals cannot synthesize astaxanthin. After shrimp and crab eat algae, astaxanthin is retained in the body, making the whole body red. The bright hair that the flamingo has is also derived from this principle. Flamingos at the upper end of the food chain not only eat algae, but also small shrimps. Astaxanthin from various sources accumulates in their bodies, making their originally white feathers appear red.
   there have been rumors said ruminant flamingos, chicks fed with blood, it is a big misunderstanding. The reason for this misunderstanding is related to the eating habits of flamingos. When flamingos are looking for food, their heads face down and immersed in water. The curved beak helps them dig out food. The fleshy thorns on the tongue help the flamingos pick food from the mud. The horny teeth and fine hairs on the edge of the beak can be It acts as a filter when swallowing fish and shrimp, and drains water and scum from the mouth. The young bird’s beak is straight, and the beak becomes curved about two months after birth. Before that, it cannot forage on its own and needs to be fed by the flamingo’s parents with the red liquid secretion in the mouth. The reason why these liquid foods appear red like blood is because the gastric juice of the flamingo will decompose the astaxanthin contained in the algae and plankton after eating, forming a red color similar to the cooked shrimp.
  Red Coral
   In traditional Chinese culture, red coral symbolizes auspicious happiness and is known as “Ruibao”. It is a treasure pursued by high-ranking officials and nobles. The royal beads worn by the emperor of the Qing Dynasty when worshiping the sun were made of red coral. A red coral that resembles a branch is expensive. In fact, this ornament that is often mistaken as a plant is a group of hydroid animals, and the “branch” made into the ornament is the hardness left by the red coral after the death of the coral. skeleton.
   It is forgivable that they are treated as plants. The place where the first coral polyps settled in their infancy is the home that red corals will never move out of their lives, so many people mistakenly believe that red corals are plants that do not move. A coral polyp can slowly divide and differentiate through asexual reproduction, forming multiple individuals with a diameter of 0.05 to 2 cm. After the “group” grows, the skeleton gradually grows into a tree shape, and the soft body surrounds the skeleton. These soft bodies expand outward to form a mouth plate with a circle or more hollow tentacles around the mouth plate. Red corals filter plankton and organic debris through their tentacles to obtain food.
   Like flamingos, the color of red corals comes from food. The plankton they eat contains canthaxanthin, and the red coral accumulates a large amount of canthaxanthin during the feeding process, which makes the bones appear red. Canthaxanthin and astaxanthin are both carotenoids. Carotenoids are generally yellow, orange or red, bringing rich colors to nature. Common bananas, tomatoes, carrots, etc. all contain carotenoids.
   The bones of red corals are not only bright in color, but also very hard, reaching the level of gems. The reason for this hardness is due to their “biomineralization” skills. Red coral polyps can absorb calcium ions and bicarbonate ions in seawater, and chemically process the bone-forming tissues in the body to form calcium carbonate calcite crystals, which then form hard bones. These bones support and protect their soft flesh. When the red coral polyps are salvaged from the water, the living white tentacles will die and are extremely fragile.
  Sea hare
   Aplysia although the name of the rabbits, but rabbits and a far cry from animals belonging to gastropods, this outline in common are abalone, snails, etc., but this outline in Aplysia is “alien.” Their shells have degenerated into inner shells, and the back is a thin transparent bright skin with a pearl-like color.
   The reason for the “sea hare” is probably related to the two pairs of antennae on their heads. On the sea hare’s head, the front pair of antennae is slightly shorter, responsible for managing the sense of touch, and the rear pair of antennae are slightly longer, responsible for managing the sense of smell. They are separated into a figure eight during exercise, and are held together when resting, resembling rabbit ears.
   As gastropods, sea hares have poor mobility. They can only crawl on the beach or underwater with their wide muscular gastric feet. They move slowly, which is not conducive to survival, but they have a unique skill-what color seaweed they eat. What color will it become. Some sea hares have fluffy and branch-like features on their body surface. After eating seaweed, their body color and pattern are very similar to those in the habitat, and sea hares can hide among them and avoid natural enemies.
   In addition to stealth skills, the sea hare also has weapons to defend itself. It has two glands that can produce two different liquids. The purple glands under the edge of the mantle can release a large amount of purple-red liquid, dye the surrounding sea water purple, thereby blinding the enemy’s sight. The other gland is in the front part of the mantle. The milky liquid secreted is poisonous and slightly acidic. After the enemy comes in contact with it, it will be poisoned and injured or die. It is a good weapon to defend against the enemy.

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