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Gradually growing pink
The coloring of the greater flamingo's (Phœnicopterus roseus) feathers is both structural and pigmentary. The eumelanin pigments, responsible for black and gray, are synthesized by the bird, while the carotenoid pigments causing its pink color derive from its diet based on small shrimps (Artemia salina). The greater flamingo is born gray and then becomes lighter, the pink coloring of its feathers, legs, beak appearing gradually. It is maximal when the bird reaches its sexual maturity around the age of three.
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