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Pink Flamingos at the Maryland Zoo, as depicted by reflected infrared light. | by Bill A
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Pink Flamingos at the Maryland Zoo, as depicted by reflected infrared light.

There is a similar reason for the flamingo's pink appearance and also the high reflectivity of infrared light by their feathers: the presence of beta-carotene. Beta-carotene is present in both the algae and in the shrimp that are part of the flamingos' diet. Beta carotene is an organic chemical that contains a reddish-orange pigment and is also highly reflective of IR radiation, explaining the light color of the flamingos' feathers in this shot.

 

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Taken on March 18, 2018