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Lake Nakuru, Flamingoes and Arthrospira

Updated: Sep 17, 2019

Lesser Flamingoes on Lake Nakuru

Arthrospiora, flamingo food

Lake Nakuru is in the Rift Valley region of Kenya.  It is renowned for its bird life, with nearly 400 species, and is surrounded by a jewel of a game park.  If you hit the right year the flamingoes are phenomenal, millions of them.  You may remember in the movie 'Out of Africa'  Robert Redford as Denys flies Meryl Streep as Karen Blixen over the lake with the flamingoes flying up in front of them.  The lesser flamingoes (Phoenicopterus minor)  are attracted there by the teeming microorganisms, particularly Arthrospira, which was known as Spirulina, which love the conditions in the lake, salty (between 2-7% salt) and alkaline (pH10 and above because of the caustic sodium carbonate)).  A million flamingoes can eat 60-80 tons of Arthrospira a day, each one filtering 20,000 litres of water, with their beaks vibrating at 4 times a second, upside down in the water.

Arthrospira is very high in protein and has been sold as a superfood for humans too (as Spirulina) which will cure everything!

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