As we all know, flamingos are the pinkest and most ridiculous-looking creatures of the animal kingdom (other than shrimp).
Aside from their pinkness, flamingos are known to often stand on just one of their legs — and nobody was entirely sure why.
Well GET READY, 'cause I've got the answer. And by "I," I mean scientists who are much smarter than I am.
Some scientists theorized that flamingos balanced on one leg to conserve body heat — after all, one leg standing in water will lose a lot less heat than two legs standing in water.
But in 2017, two neuromechanists — Lena Ting from Emory University and Young-Hui Chang from the Georgia Institute of Technology — discovered a more likely explanation by studying two dozen flamingo cadavers.
Ting and Chang realized that they could balance the flamingo cadavers on one leg, indicating that when live flamingos do it, they aren't using any muscle activity to stay upright. They just kinda lock in and chill out!
Even more interesting is that the scientists weren't able to balance the flamingo cadavers on two legs, which suggests that live flamingos do use muscles to stand on both legs. So it's actually easier for them to balance on just one!
Of course, flamingos might balance on one leg to conserve muscle activity AND body heat, but Ting and Chang's research indicates that muscle activity plays a big part in it.
And now you know a little more about flamingos!
Share This Article
Want the best of BuzzFeed Animals in your inbox? Sign up for a newsletter today!