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 delicately 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. That 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 (272)
  • graceb-612-
    2/26/2016 - 03:15 p.m.

    One reason that flamingos stand on one leg is maybe the water is colder on one side of the water than the other so the pick up their leg and bring it to their body to keep it warm.

  • ariannae-sch
    2/26/2016 - 03:47 p.m.

    critical thinking Question:one reason flamingos stand on one leg is it reduces the birds exposure to things like fungus and parasites when flamingos are in the the water.

  • jackr-2-bar
    2/26/2016 - 04:02 p.m.

    Flamingos stand on one foot because they tuck the foot into their ¨parka-like¨ body, this keeps the foot toasty warm. Since they expose all of the skin on their legs, it stays very cold. My opinion on this article is that it is very interesting and i have always been interested in flamingos.

  • oscarb-1-bar
    2/26/2016 - 04:07 p.m.

    One reason flamingos stand on one leg is because,"When the temperatures are on the colder side. Which makes sense if the birds are trying to maintain their body temperature." So instead of wasting body heat when they stand on both legs, they put one leg in their feathers and their body temperature will stay warm and they won't be cold. I always wondered why flamingos do that, which is cool now i know.

  • carlosp-6-bar
    2/26/2016 - 04:10 p.m.

    One reason that flamingos stand on one leg is because it helps them maintain there body heat when the weather is cold or the water is cold so it would definately would make sense to do so as it states in paragraphfour and five "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. That 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."
    This article is cool because i have always wondered why but I thought that they did this and this reasured me that this is true.

  • stellas-6-bar
    2/26/2016 - 04:28 p.m.

    Flamingos stand on one leg because of the water temperature. The flamingos have to maintain their body temperature by keeping one leg in the water and still staying balanced. This article is interesting because i think flamingos are fascinating animals and they are one of my favorite animals.

  • gregorys-6-bar
    2/26/2016 - 06:20 p.m.

    One reason flamingos stand on one leg is to keep warm. With one leg tucked in and the other also being used the body stays warm. This article explained a myth that I didn't know about so it was enjoyable. I would like to see why owls can turn their heads so far.

  • taylorp-1-bar
    2/26/2016 - 08:22 p.m.

    One reason that flamingos stand on one leg is to maintain body temperature. On paragraph 5, it says, " a long naked leg exposes lots of skin to cool temps and water... But if flamingos tuck that same leg up into their down parka of a body it stays toasty warm." I liked this articles because I think flamingoes are cute.

  • brianag-6-bar
    2/26/2016 - 10:25 p.m.

    Flamingos stand on one leg because of the climate. "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." I chose this article because I love animals and k want to learn more about why flamingos stand on one leg.

  • pipern-2-bar
    2/27/2016 - 12:54 a.m.

    The flamingos stand on one leg to keep warm because of the water and cold air surrounding it."You see, a long naked leg exposes lots of skin to cool temps and water. That 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." (Paragraph 4) I like this article because I love flamingos,and I always just assumed that flamingos did that to attract mates but now I know the real reason.

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