Why do blue-footed boobies have blue feet?
Wouldn’t it be strange if girls liked one boy in school better because of his beautiful blue feet? However, if the girls were blue-footed boobies, they would find it irresistible. Because really, who wants a dull-footed booby boyfriend?
Blue-footed boobies have pigments or coloring called carotenoid in their feet. They get the pigments through the food they eat, which is mainly algae. These pigments stimulate their immune systems and keep them healthy. The more pigments they have in their bodies, the bluer their feet, the healthier and stronger they are.
When female boobies search for a partner, they look for a male with brighter blue feet. To them, it means he will make healthier babies and be a better father. The male boobies then do something similar to a funny-looking western dance to show off their feet to the females.
The boobies got their name from the Spanish word bobo, which means clown. The first sailors probably thought these birds were trying to be funny, doing silly dances with such bright blue feet.
You are what you eat
Do you know any other animals whose color is determined by what they eat? How about Flamingos – they get their bright pink feathers from eating crustaceans. Or red cardinals need special seeds for their color to stay red.
By Eloise Kruger (Whyzz writer)