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The greater flamingo is the largest species of flamingo. Flamingos have exceptionally long legs and long, highly flexible necks. When they feed, flamingos dip the head under water and scoop backward with the head upside down. The edges of the bill have tiny narrow transverse plates called lamellae. The large fleshy tongue pressing against the inside of the bill strains the water out through the lamellae, leaving behind the small invertebrates and the vegetable matter upon which the bird feeds. Flamingos breed well in captivity, and the occasional flamingo seen north of Florida probably escaped from a zoo.