Animals Nature

Flamingos form lasting friendships, study finds

People have more in common with flamingos than they think.

Flamingos are known to seek out a specific set of friends they mix well with and ignore other groups that they don’t like.

Researchers at The University of Exeter who studied flamingo species for five years at the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust (WWT) Slimbridge Wetland Center found that these social animals tend to form lasting bonds with specific groups.

In addition to “hanging out,” these friendships are also important to survival in the wild.

Flamingos form lasting friendships, study finds
 Pratik Chorge for @htTweets
Flamingos form lasting friendships, study finds
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Flamingos form lasting friendships, study finds
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“Our results indicate that flamingo societies are complex. They are formed of long-standing friendships rather than loose, random connections,” said Dr. Paul Rose of the University of Exeter.

“Flamingos don’t simply find a mate and spend their time with that individual.

“Some mating couples spend much of their time together, but lots of other social bonds also exist.

“We see pairs of males or females choosing to ‘hang out’, we see trios and quartets that are regularly together.

“Flamingos have long lives—some of the birds in this study have been at Slimbridge since the 1960s—and our study shows their friendships are stable over a period of years.

“It seems that—like humans—flamingos form social bonds for a variety of reasons, and the fact they’re so long-lasting suggests they are important for survival in the wild.”

Friends of a pink feathers tend to flock together. You can learn more about the study in the official paper here.

By Wells Baum

Wells Baum is a daily blogger and curious explorer of the world who connects the dots between life, arts, and knowledge.