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Flamingo, common name for the five species of a family of birds having exceptionally long legs and long, highly flexible necks. Their relationship to other birds is uncertain; some evidence allies them with the herons and ibises, some with the ducks and geese; and there is fossil evidence suggesting a relationship to shorebirds. Their bills bend abruptly downward about midway; the upper mandible is narrow, and fits into the lower like the lid of a box. When they feed, flamingos dip the head under water and scoop backward with the head upside down. The edges of the bill have tiny narrow transverse plates called lamellae. The large fleshy tongue pressing against the inside of the bill strains the water out through the lamellae, leaving behind the small invertebrates and the vegetable matter upon which the bird feeds.The Chilean flamingo is a pale pink, with bright red streaks on the back. It nests in high salt lakes in the Andes, and also in the lowlands of extreme southern South America. Scientific classification: Phoenicopterus ruber roseus.