Nature has a funny way of utilizing color. Take for example the pink flamingo. Flamingos are usually pink, white, orange or a unique combination of all three of these colors. Have you ever wondered why the flamingos are pink? It has to do with what they eat. Their diet consists mainly of shrimp, algae and crustaceans which are organisms. These organisms are high in pigments called carotenoids. These carotenoids also cause the shrimp to turn gray when they are boiled.

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The reason, well, it has to do with chemistry. The enzymes in their liver breaks down the carotenoids into the pigment molecules that eventually become deposited in the feathers and other body parts. Young flamingos actually have gray plums, as they grow and their diet changes, their color adapts. Flamingos in captivity are feed a special diet that includes specific foods to maintain the color that they would achieve if they were in the wild. If they were not feed this diet in captivity they would be white or very pale pink.

 

So how do humans keep from not becoming different shades of the rainbow when we eat, say salad? Well, typically humans are not eating enough of any one particular food to cause our color to change. Carrots and watermelons are foods rich in carotenoids that could change your skin color. How many would you have to consume is the real question.
Learning about how nature directly affects color gives us a wealth of understanding when choosing colors for our wardrobe or our home. Take the cue from the flamingos; if you want to love the colors in your home, then we should use things from our environment that we love. Love flamingos? Here is a palette that would surely be striking in any room. Another great tip would be to use one of the first 2 colors for the walls and use the remaining colors in accessories. If you are afraid of the darker 2 colors, then use them in only one or two specific pieces. A pillow would work great for sprinkling in vibrant hues.

 

Flamigo

 

 

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