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. 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 (45)
  • tyn-2-bar
    2/26/2016 - 04:12 p.m.

    Flamingos stand on one leg for multiple reasons. One of these reasons are body temperature. Here's why "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." Flamingos stand on one leg to control body temperature.

    I think that it is interesting to see how nature takes its course in evolution.

  • ziont-orv-orv
    2/27/2016 - 05:23 p.m.

    CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION:

    They try to maintain their body temperature.

  • caitlynk-2-bar
    2/27/2016 - 07:45 p.m.

    One reason flamingos stand on one leg is to maintain body heat. With only having one leg in the water they would not get as cold. This article was interesting because I didn't know the reasons flamingos stood on one leg and now I know two reasons. This article surprised me because I didn't know that more then one type of bird primarily only stood on one leg.

  • shanek-coo
    2/29/2016 - 08:28 a.m.

    The flamingos stand on one leg because when they stand in water they can get thermoregulation.

  • caseyw.-tay
    2/29/2016 - 09:09 a.m.

    Flamingos stand on one leg to keep their leg warm.

  • evakathrynj.1-tay
    2/29/2016 - 09:09 a.m.

    Flamingos stand on one leg to maintain their body temperatur.

  • tatumh.-tay
    2/29/2016 - 09:09 a.m.

    One reason flamingos stand on one leg is It makes the skin on the leg cooler and balancing its body temperature.

  • christianr-4-bar
    2/29/2016 - 12:13 p.m.

    One reason that flamingos stand on one leg is that they try to maintain their body temperature.That is very unique that they are able to stand and balance on one leg .It is very impressive.

  • lyler-ver
    2/29/2016 - 01:11 p.m.

    The main reason why flamingos stand on one leg is because of thermoregulation, which is another word for keeping your body warm. Instead of having two legs get super cold, the flamingos can have only one leg get cold and the other stay warm, which will keep there whole body a bit warmer. Another reason is that it reduces the flamingos risk of parasites and other bad things.

  • alexandrias-2-bar
    2/29/2016 - 08:31 p.m.

    A reason the flamingos stand on one leg is because they need to stay warm. By keeping one leg near the warmth of their bodies, they can reduce the coolness of their bodies and stay warmer by only having one cold leg. I found this interesting because I didn't know they kept their leg near them to stay warm.

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