Flamingos (Phoenicopteriformes) are an ancient group of birds that includes just five species. Flamingos are filter-feeding birds with specialized bills that enable them to extract tiny plants and animals such as brine shrimp from the waters they forage in. To feed, flamingos open their bill slightly and drag it through the water. Tiny plates called lamellae act as filters, much like baleen functions in whalebone whales. The flamingo's lamellae trap food particles inside the bill and the flamingo soon make a meal of it.