What comes to mind when you think of the color pink? Pink animals? Maybe not. For many, it’s a soothing mental image of love and nurture. To some, it may represent innocence or passion. Whatever the case, the color seems to evoke feelings of warmth and tenderness among many folks.
Sorry to those who believe that pink is effeminate, but we are of the opinion that pink is rather bold and rad. You only have to look at the majestic pink animals in nature to confirm the confidence and tender-loving quality pink connotes.
Pink creatures are quite rare. Suppose you are asked to name one off the top of your head; the common Pig may cross your mind since they are the most domesticated pink animals in the world.
If your choice were narrowed down to only wild animals, then perhaps the remarkable Flamingo may suggest itself. But even the Flamingo is not born naturally pink, nor does it develop this color itself as it matures [more on that later].
Though they are relatively scarce, animals with different shades of pink thrive in the wild. These shades may range from magenta to fuchsia, rose, or bubble gum pink, but other shades also exist.
Additionally, creatures with these colors are also varied across the animal kingdom. You’ll find pink birds, pink insects, pink reptiles, and even pink mammals.
The Most Loving Pink Animals
It is noteworthy that the animals listed below are not only selected for being adorable. However, each of them has a certain tender aspect to their form, which either adds to their physical allure or serves a critical purpose to their survival.
Without further ado, here is a list of the ten most lovable pink animals.
10. Greater Flamingo
There are six recognized existing flamingo species, but in the interest of simplicity, we’ll focus on the greater flamingo, which is the most widespread species. The greater flamingo is found across Africa, Asia, and Europe and is the largest bird in the Flamingo family. It weighs up to 4kg and can grow to an average height of 150cm.
Though they inhabit a range of habitats, flamingos typically favor shallow and saline water bodies such as salt pans, lagoons, lakes, and estuaries. Here, they are able to easily use their specially adapted bills to search for preferred food such as crustaceans, fish, mollusks, and worms.
A huge part of their diet also consists of red and blue-green algae, which gives them their characteristic pink color.
Even though they are known for their vibrant pink colors, the flamingo hatchling is actually born with a gray-brown coloration. Much of their pink coloring as they mature comes from their liver enzyme’s ability to digest carotenoids in their diet [especially algae and brine shrimp]. The liver converts the carotenoids to form a pink pigment known as beta carotene, the same compound that gives carrots their red-orange color.
If taken off their natural carotene-rich diet, their pink color fades to its natural white over time.
Flamingos are social animals living in large flocks that can sometimes number in the thousands. They are a monogamous species in that both males and females actively nurture young chicks. Though these pair bones often expire at the end of a breeding season.
The species have an unconventional stance, as they are known for only standing on one of their webbed feet when feeding or resting. The exact reason for this has not been articulated, but it is believed among many to be an efficient means of energy conservation.
9. Amazon River Dolphin
The Amazon River dolphin, also known as the pink river dolphin, is the largest and most common among freshwater dolphins. They are found exclusively in the Amazon River and Orinoco Basin, from Peru to Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela, Bolivia, and Brazil.
Unlike the saltwater type, you can easily distinguish Amazon River dolphins for having no dorsal fins and instead a modified hump. Scientists believe this is an adaptation that helps them navigate the murky waters and flooded forest floors of the Amazon more easily.
These pink animals are born grey but turn a prominent pink as they age. How they attain this pink coloration is not entirely known. However, researchers and zoologists are of the opinion that the pink color comes about as a result of scar tissue accumulated from fighting for mates and rough games.
Perhaps this theory has some credibility to it, as male dolphins with deep pink colors are considered more attractive by female members of the species.
8. Elephant Hawk Moth
The elephant hawk moth gets its name from the resemblance of its larvae to an elephant’s trunk. It is a nocturnal creature mostly found in West and Central Europe, with a large population in the Irish Isles.
They have olive-brown feathers, which are splendidly outlined with pink, and their wingspan stays, on average, between 45 to 60mm. Their form sometimes makes them indistinguishable from the small elephant hawk moth, a similar-looking but distinct species.
Being a nighttime creature, the elephant hawk moths have evolved sensitive eyes that allow them to see colors clearly, even at night. This adaptive mechanism is important because the animal opts for flowers that open up at night, and this helps it to identify them clearly. These insects’ incredibly clear nighttime color vision and spatial resolution are the first of their kind reported in animals of any species.
In contrast to other insects that feed on nectar, the hawk moth doesn’t perch but hovers over flowers when feeding, much like the Hummingbird does. Thus, it expends a considerable amount of energy during this activity.
Very few amphibians are as lovable as the Axolotl. Perhaps this is why they are popular among pet traders and have become an exclusive feature of private aquariums worldwide. Axolotls are remarkable salamanders with neotenous growth. This implies they do not undergo metamorphosis and retain their juvenile characteristics in adulthood.
Hence, in contrast to other salamander species, an adult axolotl doesn’t take to land but spends its entire life in the water. They are able to breathe using their gills and sometimes by using buccal breathing.
This species is native to Mexico, but increased urbanization and the introduction of invasive species, such as the African Tilapia, have reduced their population to the point of critical endangerment.
Though most of them are pink animals, axolotls have pigmentation cells that give members of the species varying colors, from black to gold, grey, green, and silver.
In the case of pink axolotls, they get their colors from Iridiophores, a pigment that contains purine crystals that cause light iridescence.
Otherwise known as the rose-breasted cockatoo or pink-grey cockatoo, the galah is a parrot bird native to Australia. It is one of the most common birds in the cockatoo family and is widely distributed across urban and forest habitats.
The galah is notable for its distinctive grey and pink plumage; however, juveniles start out with a more general grey and white color. These pink animals are extremely social and often found in flocks of up to 10 to 1,000 individuals.
Although they enjoy the company of their flock, when tamed, the galah makes a lovable companion parrot. They can be loving and friendly and can also be trained to talk and mimic sounds around their environment.
Notwithstanding the fact that they require daily care and lots of social interaction, galahs in captivity have been reported to live longer than those in the wild. This is perhaps due to a consistent and improved diet.
5. Hopkin’s Rose Nudibranch
The binomial name of this gastropod mollusk is Okenia rosacea, and it is found solely along the western coast of North America. Much like the flamingo, the Hopkin’s rose gets its bright pink colors from its diet, which largely consists of xanthophyllic bryozoans.
Scientists once thought this sea slug’s bright colors were a show of aposematism to ward off predators. But it is now concluded that they are not venomous or harmful to humans. They feed on bryozoans by using their radula, and their long papillae appendages aid in movement.
Sadly, because of their monotonous diet, you might be hard-pressed to find these pink animals as a feature of aquariums. This is because their preferred bryozoans are not a widespread species, and they could lose their pink colors without this staple diet.
4. Roseate Spoonbill
The roseate spoonbill is another bird that gets its pink color due to its dietary habits. They are so named because of their sensitive spoon-shaped bills, which allow them to sift through mud and shallow waters when looking for prey.
Shorebirds spend most of their time wading on shorelines and mudflats in large flocks, where they hunt for aquatic crustaceans and insects. Roseatte spoonbills are distributed across North and South America and are the only pink animals among the six spoonbill species.
Though similar to flamingos in the way they acquire their color, roseatte spoonbills are carnivorous. They get their pink pigment from consuming crustaceans that are able to feed and digest the carotenes in salt water algae.
3. Orchid Mantis
The orchid mantis derives its name from its physical resemblance to an orchid flower’s petals. This adaptation is a critical survival mechanism in that the orchid mantis uses its form as a camouflage to attract prey.
However, unlike most ambush insect predators, the orchid mantis doesn’t have to perch on flowers to effectively create this illusion. Its natural form is so beautiful and alluring that it only needs to spread its hind and forelegs to mimic the appearance of the orchid flower.
Unsuspecting pollinators, mistaking this for a flower, perch on the mantis’ limbs, and it captures them at lightning speeds. This adaptation is also useful for hiding from predators.
These pink animals are native to the rainforests of India and Southeast Asia. And males are considerably smaller than females [about half the size].
Although they are primarily white, orchid mantises turn shades of pink and purple to survive. These attractive features have made them a subject of interest for insect breeders. They command high prices in the insect pet trade.
2. Naked Mole Rat
Naked mole rats are fascinating pink animals with uncommon behavioral and physiological characteristics. These peculiarities help them thrive in treacherous underground environments.
They become more interesting when you consider that the naked mole rat is a mammal, requiring oxygen to breathe. These rodents are pink-colored due to their relative hairlessness [hence the common name] and lack of cutaneous pigmentation. This makes their skin appear pink.
The mole rat can survive excruciating subterranean conditions by having a low respiratory and metabolic rate. This enables it to maximize the little oxygen available underground. Also, their skins have no neurotransmitters, so they are insensitive to pain.
The specie is endemic to East Africa’s tropical grasslands, from Ethiopia to Kenya and Somalia. Here, they live in large groups of 50 to 300 individuals in complex burrow systems.
Among mammals, the naked mole rat is one of the few species that exhibit eusociality. This is similar to the social structure of bees and termites. Only one female and a few males reproduce, while the rest of the colony serve as workers protecting and providing for the group.
These shy animals barely leave the comfort of their burrows and spend almost their entire life in the dark. This is one aspect of their lifestyle that underlines their maladapted skin pigmentation. Although these pink animals can be adorable to watch, the chances of you seeing one, even in zoos, are rare.
1. Domestic Pig
How about we come back home for no. 1 on the list. It would be a travesty not to include the popular swine in this listicle. The only domesticated animal that makes the cut, arguably no group of pink animals, describes lovable as succinctly as pigs.
Though they are primarily reared for pork meat, pigs have been known to make great affectionate companions. Particularly when raised as pets. These animals are among the smartest domesticated animals, having a higher intelligence than even the smartest dog breeds.
Pigs have also shown high emotional intelligence, showing empathy under necessary circumstances. This behavior is only seen among a few animals in the animal Kingdom.
Although considered dirty and unhealthy by some, pigs can be trained to look after themselves. Besides, pigs kept in pens only roll themselves around in the mud as a way to cool themselves.
Unlike other mammals, they don’t have sweat glands for cooling. Nor can they use mucous membranes in their mouth to dissipate heat the way dogs and other canines do.
Summary of the most lovable pink animals
All things pink are usually very lovable and pink animals are not an exception. We hope we’ve managed to update your library of animals that come in this elegant coloration.