You Are What You Eat: Why the Flamingo is Pink

People often say “You are what you eat.” What does this phrase mean? It means that the food you eat makes a difference to your health. The phrase began in 1826 when French lawyer Anthelme Brillat-Savarin wrote it, but it became more popular in America from 1923 when it appeared in the Bridgeport Telegraph newspaper.

The phrase is generally not used for animals. However, for the Flamingo it is true, and that is why the Flamingo is pink.

The Flamingo has orange-pink feathers. The orange-pink colour comes from the food it eats. 

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Common Prawn

The Common Prawn (Palaemon serratus) is a marine (saltwater) crustacean in the Palaemonidae family of invertebrate ten-footed shrimp (decapod). It is related to the crab and the lobster.

The Common Prawn is transparent (see-through) to pinkish-brown with reddish striped-liked markings and patterns. It has an exo-skeleton (outside skeleton) called a carapace or shell. Its forward extension of the carapace in front of its eyes, called the rostrum, curves upwards. The rostrum is also bifurcated at the tip, which means that it is split into two parts. It has long, white antennae. It has bulging eyes. It has ten legs.

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Golden King Crab

The Golden King Crab (Lithodes longispina) is a marine (saltwater) crustacean in the Lithodoidea family of crabs. However, many scientists think it should be classified in the Paguroidea superfamily of hermit crabs. It is a decapod because it has 10 limbs.

The Golden King Crab has five pairs of spiny limbs – 10 limbs. The front pair of legs has claws, or nippers. Its rounded-triangular exoskeleton shell (carapace) is pale orange with spines. 

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Common Striped Woodlouse

The Common Striped Woodlouse (Philoscia muscorum) is an isopod crustacean in the Philosciidae family of woodlice. It is also known as the Fast Woodlouse or the European Woodlouse. 

The Common Striped Woodlouse has a shiny, brown shell-like exo-skeleton (Iike armour), although it can be yellowish-brown with rows of spots. Its head is dark and it has a dark stripe on its back. It has long antennae. It has a segmented body. The last five segments are narrower than the other segments. 

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Pederson’s Shrimp

The Pederson’s Shrimp (Ancylomenes pedersoni or Periclemenes pedersoni) is a marine (saltwater) crustacean in the Palaemonidae family of shrimp. It is also known as the Pederson’s Cleaner Shrimp. It is related to the crab and the lobster.

The Pederson’s Shrimp is a small, transparent (see-through) shrimp with blue or violet markings on its body. It has long, white antennae. 

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Greater Spiny Crab

The Greater Spiny Crab (Maja brachydactyla) is a marine (saltwater) crustacean in the Majidae family of crabs. It is a majid crab. It is also called a Sea Spider.

The Greater Spider Crab is almost triangular in shape with an olive-khaki-green exo-skeleton (shell) called a carapace. The carapace is covered in spines called tubercles. It has 10 orange legs. 

The Greater Spider Crab walks forward – unlike most crabs that walk sideways.

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Small European Locust Lobster

The Small European Locust Lobster (Scyllarus arctus) is a marine (saltwater) crustacean in the Scyllarus family of lobsters. It is also called the Slipper Lobster, the Lesser Slipper Lobster, and the Broad Lobster. Crustaceans include crabs, crayfish, and shrimps.

The Small European Locust Lobster is a decapod with ten legs, including a pair of claws. It has a reddish-brown exo-skeleton. Its abdomen has six segments, ending with a flattened, fan-shaped tail called a telson. It has a dark-brown spot in the centre of each abdominal segment. It also has dark-blue rings around each segment. It has eye-stalks. It has gills to enable it to breathe oxygen from the sea water. 

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European Lobster

The European Lobster (Homarus gammarus) is a marine (saltwater) clawed crustacean. It is also known as the Common Lobster. It is related to the American Lobster (Homarus americanus). Crustaceans include crabs, crayfish, and shrimps.

The European Lobster is a decapod with ten legs, including a large pair of claws or nippers. It has a hard, blue shell called an exo-skeleton. It has eye-stalks. The shell is covered with pointed tubercles (like mini-teeth). It has gills to breathe oxygen from the sea water. Its abdomen has six segments, ending with a fan-shaped tail called a telson. 

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Signal Crayfish

The Signal Crayfish (Pacifastacus leniusculus) is a freshwater crustacean. Crustaceans include shrimp, lobsters, and crabs. 

The Signal Crayfish has a hard, bluish-brown to reddish-brown exo-skeleton (outer shell), called a carapace. It has a white to pale blue-green patch near its claw hinge like a white signal flag. It is a decapod because it has 10 clawed limbs, with two large, smooth, front claws called nippers. It has eye stalks. It has gills to breathe oxygen from the water. Its abdomen has six segments, ending with a fan-shaped tail called a telson. 

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European Crayfish

The European Crayfish (Astacus astacus) is a freshwater crustacean. It is also known as the Noble Crayfish, the Broad-Fingered Crayfish, the European Crawfish, or the European Freshwater Lobster. Crustaceans include shrimp, lobsters, and crabs. 

The European Crayfish has a hard, reddish-orange exo-skeleton or outer shell, called a carapace. It is a decapod because it has 10 clawed limbs, with two large front claws called nippers. It has eye stalks. It has gills to breathe oxygen from the water. Its abdomen has six segments, ending with a fan-shaped tail called a telson. 

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Common Spider Crab

The Common Spider Crab (Libinia emarginata) is a marine (saltwater) crustacean. It is also known as the Portly Spider Crab or the Nine-Spined Spider Crab. 

The Common Spider Crab is almost triangular in shape with an olive-khaki-green exo-skeleton (shell) called a carapace. The carapace is covered in spines called tubercles. It has 10 orange legs. 

The Common Spider Crab walks forward – unlike most crabs that walk sideways.

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Deep-Sea Decapod Crustacean

The Deep-Sea Decapod Crustacean (Polycheles enthrix) is a blind, ten-limbed lobster-like crustacean. Polycheles means ‘many-clawed.’ It is often known as a ‘living fossil.’

The Deep-Sea Decapod Crustacean looks like a lobster or a shrimp, with a reddish-orange exo-skeleton. It has ten elongated chelate (clawed) limbs and a segmented tail. Because it lives in very deep oceans, where there is little or no light, its eyes are not functional, and therefore it is blind. 

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Glypheoid Lobster

The Glypheoid Lobster (Neoglyphea inopinata) is a decapod (ten-legged) marine crustacean. Crustaceans include crabs and shrimp. The Glypheoid Lobster is related to the Spiny Lobster.

The Glypheoid Lobster has a hard exoskeleton (outer shell) with eye stalks. The shell is covered with pointed tubercles (like mini-teeth). It has gills to breathe oxygen from the sea water. Its abdomen has six segments, ending with a fan-shaped tail called a telson. It has 10 limbs.

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Antarctic Glyptonotus

The Antarctic Glyptonotus (Glyptonotus antarcticus) is a giant marine (saltwater) isopod crustacean. A crustacean includes crabs, shrimps, and lobsters. 

The Antarctic Glyptonotus has a disc-shaped body with small outgrowths of hairs and knobbly scales. It has two pairs of compound eyes; one pair of eyes on its back and a smaller pair of eyes on its side. It has three pairs of front claws and eight legs.

It swims upside down. 

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