WTF Fun Fact 13208 – A Flamboyance of Flamingos

A group of flamingos is called a flamboyance. It is also called a “colony” or a “stand,” but as you can imagine, flamboyance is far more popular.

How did it get named a flamboyance of flamingos?

The word “flamboyance” is derived from the French word “flamboyant,” which means “flaming” or “blazing.” It was originally used to describe the flamelike shapes found in the tracery of Gothic architecture, particularly in the late Middle Ages. The term was later used to describe a style of architecture characterized by elaborate and ornate decoration, as well as a flamelike appearance.

In the 19th century, the word began to be used to describe people and things that were showy, flashy, or ostentatious.

What makes flamingos so “fiery”?

Flamingos are social birds, and they tend to live in large groups (or colonies). Their bright pink or orange plumage is caused by pigments in the algae and crustaceans they eat.

The term “flamboyance” was first used to describe groups of flamingos in the 1930s, likely because of the birds’ striking coloration and the way they move in large, coordinated groups.

Their colonies can range in size from a few hundred to several thousand birds. Flamingos also establish a hierarchical social structure. Dominant birds are at the top and are typically larger and stronger. They get the best access to food and breeding sites.

Flamingos are also known for their synchronized behavior. They take off and land together and perform group displays such as head-flagging or wing-saluting during the breeding season. This synchronized behavior is thought to be used for communication and for predator detection.

While the term “flamboyance” has come to refer to any group of flamingos, it can also be used to describe any large, brightly colored group of birds or other animals that move and behave in a coordinated, showy manner.  WTF fun facts

Source: “What is a Group of Flamingos Called? (Complete Guide)” — Birdfact

WTF Fun Fact 12943 – A Conspiracy of Lemurs

Lemurs are fascinating creatures. They’re also diverse – there are 113 types of lemur, all native to Madagascar. Lemurs are social creatures that are active during the day and live in groups of up to 30. These groups are called a conspiracy of lemurs (or alternately a troop).

Why is it called a conspiracy of lemurs?

According to LiveScience (cited below), “Lemurs’ main predators are fossas (Cryptoprocta ferox) — carnivores that looks a bit like a cat or weasel. Lemurs can also become prey for large snakes, birds, humans and animals humans have introduced to Madagascar, such as domestic cats.”

By living in groups, it’s easier for lemurs to alert each other to dangers. The reason a group of lemurs is also called a “conspiracy” is that they work together (or conspire) to outsmart predators and stay safe.

Unfortunately, they can’t conspire to stop habitat destruction. “In 2020, the IUCN(opens in new tab) announced that 98% of all lemurs are threatened with extinction. The main reasons lemur populations have declined so significantly is because of habitat loss due to deforestation(opens in new tab) and hunting in Madagascar. Their habitat is often destroyed so that it can be used for agriculture, and they are hunted for food,” reports LiveScience.

Lemur mobbing

After conspiring to outsmart the predators they have some control over, lemurs also use a technique called “mobbing” to attack predators all at once.

Lemurs can jump up to six times their body length, so they presumably seem like they come out of nowhere and predators hardly get a chance to know what hit them (literally – conspiracies of lemurs have been known to beat large snakes to death).

Cooperative attacking and harassing (aka mobbing) is not limited to lemurs. Many species use this technique to eliminate the threat of predators.

These furry creatures seem to have quite a few sophisticated anti-predator behaviors.  WTF fun facts

Source: “Lemurs: A diverse group of endangered primates” — LiveScience