Sunday, February 27, 2011

Scarlet Ibis

Scarlet Ibis
Phylum : Chordata
Class : Aves
Order : Ciconiiformes
Family : Threskiornithidae
Genus : Eudocimus
Species : ruber

Body Length : 24in (61cm)

IUCN Status : Least Concern

My family is pretty into the Oscars and all of the film awards shows that lead up to them. Tonight is the big event, and I wanted to write about a red animal to celebrate the red carpet. And what animal is more red than the striking Scarlet Ibis?

Scarlet Ibises are found in South America, and are the national bird of Trinidad and Tobago (which is quite impressive, considering the number of species there.)

Male Scarlet Ibis
Like Flamingos, Scarlet Ibises get their striking coloration from the food that they eat. They gain pigmentation from various small crustaceans and grow more and more red with age. Their long beaks and long legs allow them to wade through water and locate their prey.

Female Scarlet Ibises lay 2-3 eggs, which hatch after about 3 weeks. Both parents incubate the eggs and acre for the chicks. The young are a dull brown color. It will take about two years to reach a full, bright red.

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