“Why do flamingos stand on one foot?” Have you ever been curious why this bird spends most of its time standing one foot rather than two? You may have observed this on television or had the opportunity to see this in real-life. Over the years, many theories have been put forward to explain this strange phenomenon, but which of them holds more water?
1. Caused by Brain Reaction
Besides the flamingos, birds such as geese, ducks,herons and storks also do have the tendency of standing on one leg especially when in water. A common aspect about these birds is that they can shutoff one-half of the brain. Some scientists believe that this brilliant pink feathered bird does so as a reaction to the brain’s functioning.
2.To Save Their Skin/Legs from Water Damage
Do you know what would happen to your legs if you stood in water for a long period of time? The excess moisture wouldn’t allow your leg to dry and this would lead to the skin softening and starting to falloff. Some experts believe that flamingos do this to allow the raised leg to remain dry and then alternate switch to the other one after sometime.
3. Regulate Body Temperature
Thermoregulation remains one of the most popular theories. People believe that two legs in water will draw lots of warmth from the bird and may interfere with its bodily functions. Water is known to conduct heat better than air. Human beings shiver not because of cold air but cold water. By raising one leg, the flamingo reduces contact with water hence lesser loss of warmth/heat.
4. Conserve Energy
In addition to their colorful pink feathers and feeding from an upside position, flamingos are famous for their long legs. Now imagine how hard the heart works to push blood to those long legs? Some people believe that raising one leg and maintaining it is a folded position reduces the strain placed on the heart when pumping blood. Besides conserving the energy it also keeps the folded leg warm under the energy.
There you have it. Some of the common explanations behind the flamingo standing on one foot for long periods. Some think it has to do with it shutting down one-half of its brain while others say its about conserving heat and warmth. There are those who think its a way of camouflaging itself while others say it’s about minimizing the effect of water on its legs. So, why do flamingos stand on one foot? which one of this reasons do you think sounds most believable?