Why do flamingos stand on one leg? (Thinkstock)
Why do flamingos stand on one leg?
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You asked us a question. Why do flamingos stand on one leg?
 
They are not the only birds to balance carefully on a single limb. But, flamingos are probably the best known for this yoga-like pose.
 
Researchers have been scratching their heads trying to figure out the reason behind this soloed stance. And now they think they have an answer. It is thermoregulation.  
 
What they found is that flamingos tend to do a lot more one-legged lounging. Especially when they are standing in water. And when the temperatures are on the colder side.  Which makes sense if the birds are trying to hold on to their body temperature.
 
A long naked leg exposes lots of skin to cool temps and water. That sucks away heat faster than air. But flamingos can tuck that same leg up into their down parka of a body. This keeps it toasty warm.
 
It is likely the behavior also reduces the birds' exposure to things like fungus and parasites in the water.
 
Nice! I mean, Namaste.

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CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
What's one reason that flamingos stand on one leg?
Write your answers in the comments section below


COMMENTS (51)
  • sophies-bel
    3/01/2016 - 02:00 p.m.

    They stand on one leg so they keep warm.

  • sarahj-bel
    3/01/2016 - 02:00 p.m.

    One reason flamingos stand on one leg is thermoregulatio.

  • jenniek-bel
    3/01/2016 - 02:01 p.m.

    So when they are in the water they do not become so cold and so the flamingo doesn't get parasites or anything that is in the water.

  • ericam-sch
    3/01/2016 - 03:21 p.m.

    1)
    who: Flamingos
    what:flamingos standing in one leg
    when: presents
    where:zoo
    why:because flamingos are interesting to know about
    How: zoologist's study and watch flamingos

  • hollynoce-bak
    3/01/2016 - 04:10 p.m.

    This is a really cool article because I never did know that they can balance really well.

  • gagel-kut
    3/02/2016 - 06:03 p.m.

    I never new that other birds stood on one foot other than the flamingo. This makes me question what other animals do other strange and noticeable things. This article was very interesting for me and others to read.

  • cooper-hym
    3/03/2016 - 02:04 p.m.

    Flamingos stand on one leg because they release heat that way.

  • maxv-haw
    3/03/2016 - 02:17 p.m.

    They stand on one leg because of body heat.

  • georgiam-haw
    3/03/2016 - 02:21 p.m.

    Flamingos stand on one leg because, if the weather turns very cold, by tucking one of their legs into their down parka of their body they are keeping it very warm.

  • milok-3-bar
    3/04/2016 - 02:37 a.m.

    One reason flamingos stand on one leg is to keep there leg warm and not loose there body heat. I think it is cool that flamingos can balance on one leg and that it can protect them from fungus in the water. I think it is interesting that they are not the only bird to stand on one leg.

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