Letter | Published:

Astaxanthin in the American Flamingo

Naturevolume 175pages942943 (1955) | Download Citation



THE flamingo, Phoenicopterus ruber, derives from its dietary carotenoids the conspicuous rich pink to red colours of its feathers, tarsal and pedal skin and lower bill-mandible. Captive flamingos gradually lose their rich pigmentation unless appropriate dietary measures are taken. The presumptive role of crustacean carotenoids in supplying pigmentation to the birds in Nature is given some support by observations in zoos1 and by Manunta's2 reported recovery of an astacene-like carotenoid from the fat of a flamingo.

Access optionsAccess options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.


  1. 1

    Fox, D. L., “Animal Biochromes” (Camb. Univ. Press, 1953).

  2. 2

    Manunta, C., Helv. chim. Acta, 22, 1511 (1939).

Download references

Author information


  1. Division of Biochemistry, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, La Jolla, California

    • DENIS L. FOX


  1. Search for DENIS L. FOX in:

About this article

Publication history

Issue Date



Further reading


By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.