Let’s face it: pink is a pretty rad color. It can be bright and bold, or soft and delicate. It can be cool with purple tones or warm with a peachy touch. It looks good on pretty much any complexion, and it’s just pretty!
It turns out that the animal world thinks so, too. When you think of a pink animal, you’re probably imagining a flamingo or a cute little piggy, but there are so many more pinkies out there — some that you’d never expect.
While some pink animals really do just have pink pigment, others are pink due to rare genetics and conditions like albinism, as was the case with a rare pink elephant born recently to some proud gray parents.
Other animals experience something called erythrism, which refers to excess red pigment in an animal’s body, causing them to look red or pink.
In the case of flamingos, their pink plumage is actually due to the algae they consume. It dyes them from the inside! Don’t worry, though. It doesn’t hurt them, it just makes them adorable.
Check out some critters below who sport some pretty pinks, and your world will be a little more colorful!
[H/T: Treehugger, Web Ecoist, My Modern Met]
Flamingos are the animal everyone thinks of when they think pink, but flamingos are actually white!
They get their coloring, which can range from pastel, baby pink to vibrant coral, from the carotenoids in their food. It’s like if eating cherries gave you red hair!
Pigs are the other popular pinkie. Pigs with pale, pink skin have to be extra careful in the sun, which is why they roll in mud. It’s natural sunblock, and it keeps them cool.
Butterflies come in all kinds of gorgeous colors, so it’s really no surprise that they come in pink, too. This butterfly pairs its salmony spots with deep brown and dusty white for a sophisticated look.
More humble bugs, like this beetle, get in on the pink, too. This little dude looks very stylish with a deep, magenta hue.
And sometimes, genetic variations make for some very striking creatures. Katydids are normally green or brown, but this one ended up a pastel pink from antennae to toes.
Of course, pink animals like this can’t camouflage as well as their brown and green friends.
There are more pink birds besides flamingos. Like flamingos, the roseate spoonbill gets its coloring from its diet, and depending on their age and location, the intensity of the color varies.
Native to Europe and Asia, the rosefinch is aptly named. Its plumage is a dusty, deep pink edged in brown, just like dried rose petals.
In North America, our robins sport red or orangish breasts, but in Australia, the robins are pink! Their bright magenta breast feathers look striking against the black ones.
Reptiles get in on the pink, too. A genetic mutation can cause corn snakes to have a delicate pale pink and beige version of their already eye-catching pattern.
These silly-looking creatures are axolotls, or salamanders, native to Mexico. The critically threatened amphibians are normally a dull, olive green in the wild, but color variations include pink and white.
Popular as pets, axolotl breeders seek out these color versions.
For most animals, being pink is a liability. They can’t blend in as well, and are therefore subject to predation.
But for the web-footed gecko, pink is just fine. Their translucent pink skin helps them blend right into the pinky beige sands of their native Namib Desert.
And of course, we can’t forget mammals. The pink dolphin is native to southeast Asia and is a protected species. It’s also known as the white dolphin, although it’s more pink than white.
Some, like this one, are pure pink, while others are more gray with pink speckles. Pink dolphins of a different species can also be found in the Amazon River.
This adorable little elephant gave the world a happy surprise when he was born, pink ears flapping.
The (relatively) little guy has albinism, which means his skin looks pink from lack of pigmentation.
As a bonus, if you love pink, you’ll be happy to know that it’s not just animals that can be unexpectedly pink, but water, too!
The lagoon next to aptly named Mexican fishing village Las Coloradas is a beautiful pink thanks to red plankton and brine shrimp.
It’s a popular place with tourists, who come to take in the dreamlike scenery.
It really looks like something from another world.
Do you love pink? There’s a surprisingly large amount of this great color on the planet!
SHARE these amazing creatures with anyone you know who loves this color!