Flamingos which derive their names from the Latin name “flamma”, meaning “flame”, is one of the most beautiful examples of the artistry Allah displays with colours. This richness of colours in flamingo come into existence because of the existence of pigments stored during when the feather first starts to come into being or the light movements due to the feathers’ structural properties. One of the most important features of these very colorful features is their being inanimate. Feathers are periodically replaced by new ones since these organisms which come into being from a substance called keratin wear out in a short while due to environmental conditions.
How do the Colours of Flamingos come into existence?
Due to the different structures of feathers flamingos may present an appearance just like a glass prisma separating light into colours. The colours emerging from reflaction of light are more alive and metalic than those colored by pigments. The colours of these feathers change. Generally the colours of green, blue and metalic colours in birds come into existence as a result of light refraction. However some colours may also originate from pigments. These are melanin pigments responsible for the colours of black, brown or dull yellow; carotenoids, which exist in orange, tomato, carrot, various flowers, bacteria, fungi and algae, on the other hand, give the colours of red, yellow and orange. Each year sea moss produce a hundred million tons of carotenoids. Some animals use carotenoids in coloring. The colours of especially some birds (in yellow and red feathers), fish (salmon) and many invertebrates may be blue, green or pink due to complex carotenoids make with proteins. The main origin of reddish pink colour of flamingos is carotenoids. The bright pink colour of flamingos originates from the food it eats. As they eat more of the food with carotenoid content, their feathers turn into a more bright and dark pink. With the unprecedented artistry of colour Almighty Allah, the Lord of all the realms, displays on flamingos, He introduces Himself to us and ensures the preservation of colours with the special systems He creates:
“Have they not travelled about the earth and do they not have hearts to understand with or ears to hear with? It is not their eyes which are blind but the hearts in their breasts which are blind.” (Surat al-Hajj, 46)