Flamingo Friend Groups Can Get Pretty Cliquey

When Tina Fey and Rosalind Wiseman wrote the quintessential line “on Wednesdays, we put on pink” as a part of their Imply Women script, I do not suppose they knew that someday it might be extraordinarily relevant to a scientific research about flamingos.

In Imply Women, this quote was delivered to the latest member of an elite highschool clique so she would not mess up the vibe after they sat collectively throughout lunch. 

And within the journal Scientific Stories, researchers with the College of Exeter and Wildfowl & Wetlands Belief introduced that flamingo societies within the Caribbean and Chilé appear to have cliques of their very own primarily based on character preferences. On Wednesday, nonetheless. 

Thank god these birds are biologically dressed for the event.

“It’s clear from this analysis {that a} flamingo’s social life is rather more difficult than we first realized,” Paul Rose, from WWT and Exeter’s Centre for Research in Animal Behaviour and lead writer of a research on the invention printed within the journal Scientific Stories, said in a statement.

Several orangey-pink flamingos are seen here. Four appear to be in a sort of argument, two on each side.

The companion of 1 Caribbean flamingo helps it in an argument with one other pair of flamingos.

Paul Rose

In response to Rose, whose identify fantastically follows with the theme of this text, previous research had proven that particular person flamingos have specific “buddies” inside their flock. Plus, Rose’s work did not solely show that flamingos love kinship, nevertheless it additionally confirmed that these animals are long-term relationship creatures. Their bonds, most of the time, stand the take a look at of time.

Nevertheless, the staff wished to study whether or not there was a motive for these good friend teams or in the event that they’re completely random. In different phrases, are there sure character traits and character sorts that dictate who’s buddies with whom? “The reply is sure,” Rose mentioned.

As an example, after individually observing teams of the Caribbean and Chilean flamingos, Rose and colleagues discovered that bolder birds had stronger and extra constant ties with different daring birds. Submissive birds, alternatively, most popular hanging out with their submissive friends. Introverts unite!

Two Caribbean flamingos are seen ganging up on another bird. Three flamingos are in the back.

Two Caribbean flamingos are seen ganging up on one other chook.

Paul Rose

“Like people, flamingos seem to carve out completely different roles in society primarily based on their character,” Fionnuala McCully of the College of Liverpool, who collected knowledge for the research whereas on the College of Exeter, mentioned in a press release. 

Notably, per the research, particular person Caribbean flamingos appeared extra prone to have a specific function in their very own group in contrast with Chilean flamingos. Although with regard to group dynamics, the researchers even noticed that aggressive chook teams would dominate rivals and get into extra fights however that submissive birds went for a distinct strategy, together with serving to their different shy flamingo buddies keep sturdy within the face of adversity.

“The assorted completely different character teams present social assist to their members, for instance by supporting one another within the many squabbles that happen in flamingo flocks,” McCully mentioned.

Three light pink flamingos are seen here. Two look like they're sparring and one appears quieter and less confrontational in the back.

Daring Chiléan flamingos push away a extra submissive chook.

Paul Rose

However flamingos aren’t the one animal we all know of forming good friend teams primarily based on non-public instinct. Chimpanzees and Assamese macaques, as an illustration, have the identical tendency. And past that, we all know that fairly just a few animals get pleasure from making buddies basically — horses, dolphins and even snakes have been seen hanging out with others of their form. 

In 2020, scientists even evidenced that sperm whales have candy little bromances like they’re a part of a Greek fraternity!

As such, Rose says, “our findings want additional investigation, each to assist us perceive the evolution of social conduct and to enhance the welfare of zoo animals.”

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