Why do flamingos stand on one leg? (Thinkstock)
Why do flamingos stand on one leg?
Lexile

You asked us, why do flamingos stand on one leg?
 
Although they're not the only birds to balance precariously on a single limb, 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 . . . thermoregulation.
 
What they found is that flamingos tend to do a lot more one-legged lounging when they are standing in water and when the temperatures are on the colder side. Which makes sense if the birds are trying to maintain their body temperature.
 
You see, a long naked leg exposes lots of skin to cool temps and water, which sucks away heat faster than air. But, if flamingos tuck that same leg up into their down parka of a body, it stays toasty warm.
 
It's 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 (30)
  • niah-jac
    2/29/2016 - 09:06 a.m.

    One reason why flamingo's stand on one leg is because they try to keep the body heat in.

  • briannec-ste
    3/02/2016 - 01:14 p.m.

    Flamingos stand on one leg because while they are cooling down they can keep the other leg warm so they are both warm and cold.

  • TaylorSeifert-Ste
    3/05/2016 - 11:01 p.m.

    If you think about it flamingos are like ninjas with their extreme balancing skills. Yep. It makes sense that a flamingo would stand on one leg while in water, that may be cold, to preserve body heat.

  • TehyaWhite-Ste
    3/09/2016 - 11:58 a.m.

    One reason that flamingos stand on one leg is because it keeps them warm. Another reason they stand on one leg is because it reduces their exposure to fungus and bacteria, keeping them cleaner.

  • katier-lam
    3/11/2016 - 10:49 a.m.

    One reason that flamingos stand on one leg is because they want to keep in their body heat, with the birds one leg up against its body, it keeps that leg warm and the other is used for standing while in the water.

  • ethanw-fel
    3/25/2016 - 02:19 p.m.

    One reason that flamingos stand on one leg is that when they're in cold water or cool tempratures they keep their other leg tucked up to keep warm.

  • coled-fel
    3/25/2016 - 02:19 p.m.

    CTQ: One reason that flamingos stand on one leg is because of thermoregulation.

  • ethany-fel
    3/25/2016 - 02:19 p.m.

    One of the reasons flamingos stand on one legs is to keep the other leg warm

  • mattv-fel
    3/25/2016 - 02:19 p.m.

    Flamingos stand on one leg to either cool down or warm up, to keep their body temperatures normal. Their long legs expose a lot of skin to the cold or heat.

  • johnj-fel
    3/25/2016 - 02:20 p.m.

    One reason that flamingos stand on one leg is to maintain body heat in the cold.

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