Pink pigs (and people) display beauty that’s only skin deep but when pink appears as an animal’s prime pigment the results can be strikingly beautiful… they don’t call it “shocking pink” for nothing! This proud posse of puce poseurs provides proof positive pink can be a perfectly pleasing pigment. Period.
Insects can be pink owing to a number of factors but mainly two which would seem to be counteractive. Those that frequent pink flowers seek to blend in so as not to be seen by predators – or prey. Others adopt pink along with another, contrasting color to send a vivid “keep away!” signal to potential predators. Can you imagine hot pink & turquoise bees and wasps?
(image via: About.com/Insects)
Why bother with contrast when you’re a newly discovered Dragon Millipede (Desmoxytes purpurosea)? This small but serious critter has a gland that produces cyanide as a defense mechanism. You most definitely don’t want to be near this hot pink dude when he’s, er, millipede-off.
Other insects are pink not by design but by defect, such as the pink katydid and grasshopper above. In cases of Erythrism, these creatures lack a certain pigment that (by virtue of its absence) leaves the insects with an unintended color scheme. Lobsters can suffer a similar fate but due to different pigments involved, there are no pink lobsters. Pity.
Starfish are a favorite subject of photographers thanks to their wide variation in coloration and contrast. It’s not certain what purpose vivid colors serve starfish, however. Slow-moving creatures who frequent reef environments and occasionally feast on endangered corals, starfish are often washed up on beaches where their brilliant hues quickly fade.
(image via: Bargain Florida Lots)
You’ve gotta hand it to echinoderms (who don’t actually HAVE hands), they’re definitely “stars” when it comes to showing their true colors. The hot pink starfish above somehow found its way to a southwest Florida beach without getting BP’d.
The world’s oceans host an abundance of pink fish and frogfish but this pink Frogfish steals the spotlight. Who can resist this finned clump of cotton candy as it scuttles along the seafloor? Don’t be fooled though, some species of frogfish have toxic spines on their heads that can deliver a painful dose of venom to the unwary.
(image via: RedBubble)
Frogfish don’t have scales and can adjust their skin coloration to match their surroundings. We’re not sure what was surrounding the bubblegum-pink frogfish above… perhaps a sunken ship’s cargo of pink bubblegum?
Pink Land Iguana
Almost 175 years after Charles Darwin roamed their rocky shores, the Galapagos Islands are still springing surprises on biologists who’d thought they’d seen it all. Maybe now they have: a small population of large, pink land iguanas living on the slopes of the Wolf Volcano on Isabela Island.
(image via: National Geographic)
A park ranger first noticed these (actually, quite noticeable) large iguanas in 1986 but it was thought at the time they were merely a variation of the common land iguana – or, that he’d been drinking. The results of blood testing (on the iguanas, not the ranger) confirmed the Pink Iguana is a specific species and not just a great band name.
Pink & Coral Cornsnakes
(images via: Poppycorns)
Snake breeders have long striven to induce their reptilian subjects to express colors not normally found in nature. Take the Pink & Coral Cornsnakes above… not to worry, they’re not poisonous. Buyers now can choose from a wide variety of pinks and patterns to suit their needs, whatever those needs might be.
(image via: Poppycorns)
Of course, it also helps to have a colorful name, like Coral Snow Peaches, Neon Coral Roses, Starburst (as in the candy) Snow Rhapsody or Champagne Pink Minstrel.
(image via: Bite-Dose)
Naturally pink tinted snakes are unusual and most of those reported have been determined to be albinos – their pink tint is owed to their muscle tissue showing through translucent skin. The snake above, however, boasts serrated stripes of brilliant pink that are even more prominent when seen against its black base coloration. Liophidium pattoni, native to the forests of Madagascar, is new to science having only been discovered in 2010.
Think pink and pink flamingos are probably what come to mind. Not Pink Flamingos, the 1972 cult classic film from avantgarde director John Waters and starring the notorious Divine, but we digress. Real flamingos are not actually pink, they TURN pink from ingesting water-borne bacteria and from the beta carotene in the food they eat.
Flamingos kept in zoos are fed beta carotene supplements and shrimp in order to help them maintain their rosy plumage. Not only do zoo visitors appreciate the results, the flamingos may as well: a pale, drab flamingo has a lesser chance of hooking up with their opposite number. Is that where the cliché “in the pink” comes from?
(image via: Wikipedia)
The garish bird above isn’t a flamingo but is shown here because of its various shades of pink ranging from salmon to neon. Take away the color and it’d be pug-ugly… like most vultures. Yep, it’s a California Condor chick!
Pink-Faced Bald Uakari
Uakaris are monkeys… monkeys from Hell!! OK, not really, they come from isolated areas of the northwest Amazon basin and just look like Skeletor’s pet. There are 4 known species of Uakari but our focus here is on the Bald Uakari. This odd-looking New World monkey has copious hair all over its body with the exception of its head – much like your average middle-aged human male.
(image via: Greg Neise)
Uakaris have no fat beneath the skin of their faces; basically they’re just skin & bones above the neck, giving their countenances a bizarre, some say “demonic” aspect.
Since the Uakari’s home ranges are located deep in the Amazon rainforest, not a whole lot is known about their lives and lifestyles. Reports have stated they live in the treetops and (thankfully) have a herbivorous diet. Uakaris sometimes travel in groups of up to 100… forget chimps, they should’ve made Rise of the Planet of the Apes with THESE guys!
The pink Amazon River Dolphin (Inia geoffrensis) is actually a mottled pink with gray, though it’s pinker by far than any other dolphin. They’re also thought to be intelligent and have a brain capacity 40% larger than that of humans. You didn’t see any Amazon River Dolphins at the Kardashian wedding, did you? Case closed.
The Amazon pink dolphins come by their hue naturally, which is not to be confused with a number of albino Bottlenose Dolphins that have been featured in the news recently.
Pink Hippos are rarely sighted outside of Hanna-Barbara cartoons but they do exist, and for several reasons. Most hippos are a brownish-gray color with pink undertones. They can appear even pinker on hot, sunny days when they tend to sweat: hippo sweat is pink!
For a few hippos, even sweating pink isn’t enough: so-called Leucistic hippos lack the normal amount of gray pigment in their skin and, by default, tend towards a more pinkish aspect. Hippos can tolerate leucism more than other creatures as they spend a lot of time in the water and, as a bonus, secrete an oily substance that acts as a sunscreen.
Pink Elephants, no longer just a drunkard’s hallucination! Though this post has focused on naturally pink animals, albino elephants just had to be included because there’s just no ignoring the 800-lb pink elephant in the room – or in the wild. Curiously, albinism is much more common (though still rare) in Asian Elephants and the sighting of the pink baby above in Botswana’s Okavango Delta region sparked a flood of interest from zoologists and conservationists.
(images via: IOL)
“I have only come across three references to albino calves,” stated Dr Mike Chase of Elephants Without Borders, “which have occurred in Kruger National Park in South Africa.”
(images via: Geof Wilson)
Dyeing to be pink? We’ll ignore the antics of pink poodle fanciers or that wacky Brit who tinted her cat pink with food coloring to match her hair. The flock of sheep above was “dyed in the wool” to deter rustlers. Don’t tell that English chick about this, OK?