Cause if they pulled both legs up they'd fall over.
That's my favorite joke to tell campers about the flamingos. The real reason is thermoregulation - to help them control their body temperature.
Did you know there are 6 species of flamingos throughout the world? They're found in tropical and subtropical areas in South America, the Caribbean, India, the Middle East and Europe.
At SeaWorld San Antonio, a group of Chilean flamingos call our in-park exhibit home that is across from the Nautilus Amphitheater, between Shamu Theater and Water Ski Lake. Along with the flamingos, there are several species of ducks, scarlet ibis and a few brown pelicans. Also, a group of Caribbean flamingos live in a behind-the-scenes area.
Flamingos are fascinating birds highly adapted for their lifestyle and habitat. Their long legs allow them to wade in deeper water than most shore birds and their webbed feed allow them to stay on top of soft mud. The joint you see between their feet and body (which you would think is the knee but bends in an opposite direction than ours) is actually their ankle, with the knee and hip joints being hidden in their feathers. Although not known for flying, groups of flamingos have been know to fly at speeds of 50-60 km (31-37 mph) up to 500-600 km (311-373 mi.).
Many of the lakes that flamingos live in the natural environment have very high salt contents so their only source fresh water is boiling geysers. Flamingos are able to drink water at temperatures approaching boiling.
Flamingos are filter feeders and eat a variety of aquatic invertebrates, algae, insects and small fish. Their feather coloration is derived from carotenoid pigments found in their food. Caribbean flamingos are the brightest coloration: crimson or vermillion; while Chilean flamingos are a much paler pink.
As far as the flamingos' exhibit-mates, the brown pelican is the smallest of the pelican species and was just recently taken off the Endangered Species list. Brown pelicans were first protected by President Theodore Roosevelt when he created the first national wildlife refuge on Pelican Island. They were once hunted for their feathers, then suffered from the effects of DDT. But have made the comeback and are one of the few animals to be taken off the Endangered Species list. The black-bellied whistling ducks you'll see in the exhibit are wild birds. They fly in and out throughout the days, usually there for the free food and protection from predators.
Hopefully everyone made it out for Howl-O-Scream and will join us again for our Chirstmas Celebration. Let me know if there are any animals you are interested in knowing more about.
Thanks and Gig 'em