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AP

Scientists May Have Just Spotted The Only Black Flamingo in The World

FIONA MACDONALD
15 APR 2015

The incredible footage below was captured earlier this week on the Mediterranean island of Cyprus, showing an extremely rare black flamingo feeding alongside its pink counterparts.

 

Only one other black flamingo has ever been spotted in the wild in Israel in 2014, and researchers believe that this may be the same individual… which would make it the only black flamingo in the world.

Normal flamingoes are born white and grey, and only turn their iconic shade of pinky orange around the age of two, as a result of the high carotenoid content of the algae and crustaceans that they eat.

Experts believe that this individual (and potentially the other bird spotted in Israel) has a genetic condition that causes it to overproduce melanin, changing its feathers to black.

"A melanistic individual is a very, very rare sighting... basically it's the opposite of an albino when the individual produces more melanin than normal," Pantelis Carilaou, the head of the environmental department of the British Sovereign Bases, told Jack Simpson for The Independent.

"From what have seen on the Internet, there was only one other sighting in Israel, so maybe this is the second one."

We don’t have to tell you this, but whatever the cause of the colouring, it looks pretty spectacular.

Source: The Independent