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Have you ever wondered how flamingos eat with their curved beaks? The San Diego Zoo is educating the public about the feeding habits of flamingos with a new video showing bright pink birds feeding underwater. The video was shot while the birds were feeding using an underwater camera installed in the zoo's flamingo feeding tank.

In the video, the birds lower their hooked beaks to glide across the ground. The zoo explains that flamingos naturally eat underwater and with their beaks almost upside down. Their beaks suck up the surrounding water, which  then flows through salt plates (called lamellae) that filter the water for delicious treats. Shrimp, sea flies, algae and other small marine life are trapped in the flamingo's mouth to be eaten. Water, dirt and debris are then removed from the sides of the note. The movement of the flamingo's tongue activates this filtering system.

The San Diego Zoo jokingly says, "All birds love seafood!" However, viewers will see that the feeding tank isn't filled with actual sea creatures.  San Diego Zoo staff use a special nutrient-dense pellet diet. Spread out in the water,  flamingos can feed as if they were living in the wild. The carotenoid pigments found in their natural food sources must be reproduced in these granules - ingesting these pigments gives  flamingos their distinctive pink feathers. 

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