Why do flamingoes, the silliest, pinkest birds in the animal kingdom, stand on one leg instead of two?
One may suspect it's just because they're not that bright, but scientists have recently discovered there's more to it than that.
Although some theories are... plausible?
What if flamingos are all just having a “who can stand on one leg the longest” contest? You don’t know.— Justin Staggs (@Justin Staggs) 1524356304.0
@qikipedia So that their brain hemispheres can alternate sleep cycles.— SylvanSie (@SylvanSie) 1542406104.0
For years, the flamingoes' motivation to stand on one leg instead of two was a mystery to many scientists.
Some theorized that the birds were trying to conserve body heat by keeping one leg out of the water, but there was never any proof to back this hypothesis up.
@BuzzFeed They switch legs when we are not looking?— Valerie M (@Valerie M) 1548469069.0
Just when it seemed like it was time to give up on the age-old flamingo leg question, neuromechanists Lena Ting from Emory University and Young-Hui Chang from the Georgia Institute of Technology had a breakthrough.
Thoughts that keep me awake.... why don't flamingos have one really muscley leg? *this tweet is brought to you by rum...*— Jude D (@Jude D) 1531264926.0
While playing with a couple dozen flamingo cadavers, they realized that, even dead, the flamingoes could balance on one leg with ease.
The scientists couldn't, however, get the dead flamingoes to stand upright with two legs, suggesting that the flamingo body is designed to lock into place and balance perfectly on one leg, conserving muscle energy.
Any good scientist will tell you it's still possible for the flamingoes to conserve both energy AND heat, as the original theory put forward, but the revelation that it's actually physically easier for a flamingo to balance on one leg is an important one.
@BuzzFeed https://t.co/VX1XykSiV4— Thanh Doan (@Thanh Doan) 1548468640.0
Twitter understood how important this discovery was!
Hey! I learned something cool about flamingos and you should learn it too! https://t.co/xNFp5Zc9gu— Kat Angus (@Kat Angus) 1548346748.0
flamingos standing on one leg to sleep is just such a weird flex— mateo g (@mateo g) 1546624169.0
Well, many just wanted to make some jokes.
@qikipedia My missus told me to stop doing flamingo impersonations. In the end I had to put my foot down.— Last Hussar (@Last Hussar) 1542403180.0
@qikipedia If they didn’t stand on any they would fall over.— guy montag (@guy montag) 1542402793.0
@qikipedia If they stood on no legs they’d be flying— Richard (@Richard) 1542403504.0
If you were looking for another reason to make flamingoes your favorite bird, this was it!
current obsessions: flamingos and unicorns 😍— Zanerr (@Zanerr) 1548504736.0