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Flamingo (Paperback) (Caitlin R. Kight)
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The flamingo is possible the most easily recognized bird in the world. From their long necks to their unmistakable pink color, they are certainly one of the most unusual-looking animals. But the flamingo is not a single species—there are at least five different species of flamingos, each differing in size and color. And despite leaving some of the best fossil records, allowing scientists intimate knowledge of their evolution, little is known about where these birds are truly positioned in the avian family tree. Originally it was believed that they were most closely related to birds like storks and herons, but only recently it has been agreed that they are actually closer to grebes. The classification of this distinctive pink bird continues to baffle the scientific community today.
Caitlin R. Kight’s Flamingo presents this fascinating creature in an accessible way, introducing the history of the bird, its behavior, habitats, and symbolism. She also discusses how societies throughout history have each had their own word for the brightly-colored bird, and why it has become such an iconic animal throughout the world.
Kight presents the flamingo in a concise and accessible way, introducing its detailed scientific history alongside what we know about its often hostile habitats and complex social behavior. She explores its genetic lineage and the confusions it has caused, and she details the significance it has had for many cultures, whether as a spiritual totem or a commercial symbol of the tropical life. She even explains how it gets its extraordinary color (hint: it has to do with its diet). A wonderful resource for any bird lover, Flamingo provides valuable insight into just what makes this flashy-feathered character so special.