Flamingos are incredible birds - we should all aspire to be more like them. They're vibrant, they share responsibilities between males and females, and they're very well "designed" too. In fact, our shoes are inspired by the flamingo's balancing act to deliver comfortable wear all day.
In the pursuit of comfort and style perfection our founder, Shaherazad, spent many hours studying the poise, grace and elegance of flamingos at two world renowned centres. The first, was at Slimbridge Wetland Centre and the second was at Jurong Bird Park in Singapore. Whilst in this post we won't be giving away the secret to our comfortable heels, we will be sharing 10 fun facts about our favourite pink feathered friends.
1. Six Flamingo Species
There are six species of flamingo around the world, although some of them also have sub-species. They live in a variety of different habitats, from mountains and flatlands to cold and warm climates. They're happy as long as they have plenty of food and water.
The photo above was taken during our study visits at Slimbridge Wetland Centre.
2. Their Diet Turns Them Pink
They do say that you are what you eat, and in the case of flamingos, that's certainly true. You might have heard that they're pink from eating prawns or shrimps, but that's not exactly true. They might eat shrimp, but it's the beta-carotene in the plankton and crustaceans they eat that gives them their colour.
3. They Eat Upside Down
Flamingos eat by filtering water through their beaks to get their food. They hold those hooked beaks (and their heads) upside down to do this. But first, they use their feet to stir up the mud, so they're able to filter the muddy water for their food.
4. One Flamingo Kicks Off Breeding Season
The more brightly coloured flamingos in a group have more influence. They can even make themselves get darker to indicate to the other flamingos that it's time to breed.
5. Flamingos Share the Parental Workload
If you're looking for some parental role models, you could do worse than flamingos. Like many birds, they look after their egg and chick together. They usually just lay one egg, and both mum and dad take turns looking after it, as well as feeding their chick.
6. Flamingos Are Light on Their Feet
The word flamingo comes from flamenco, like the Spanish dance, which means "fire". This refers to their pink colour, but flamingos are pretty good dancers too. They perform elaborate mating dances where they gather into a group and wade up and down.
7. Those Aren't Their Knees…
Flamingos are known for their super long legs, especially as they often stand on one at a time. But those bendy bits aren't their knees - they're actually their ankles. Those long legs can support their whole body at the same time, and scientists have discovered that they are perfectly balanced and don't need to use any muscles to stay upright. This is part of the inspiration and principle behind our super comfy shoes.
8. Flamingos Fly Much More Than They Swim
Flamingos might be water birds, but they spend a lot of time out of the water too. In fact, they spend most of their time in it wading, rather than swimming. They also fly a lot, with speeds of up to 35 miles an hour and distances sometimes reaching hundreds of miles a day.
9. Flamingos Enjoy Company
Like humans, flamingos are social animals. They don't do well on their own, and colonies can range from around fifty to the thousands. Some can get even larger, with the biggest being recorded at over one million birds.
10. Plastic Flamingos Are 60 Years Old
You've probably seen a plastic flamingo, which is something of an American cultural icon. It was designed in 1957, and some people still enjoy them today. Real flamingos live to be about 30 but can live longer in captivity.
Interested in finding out more about our flamingo inspired heels? Check out the Shoes by Shaherazad story here.