For those who have a problem with their balance, the posture of flamingos probably seems impossible. These birds can even sleep while standing on one leg. Researchers discovered that for flamingos, this is not a hard task. It was seen that these birds don’t even use many of their muscle to maintain this posture.
Theories about Flamingos
Even when they are dead, they are able to stay on one leg. This is how researchers figured out that previous theories about these birds were wrong. Until now, there were two main theories about how flamingos stay on one leg. First of them believed that they used this position to maintain their body heat.
The other theory stated that they used this position to help the other leg rest. Now it was discovered that the bird is not tired when it is sitting on one leg, it is actually rested. There is almost no muscle activity for these birds when they stay on one leg.
To conduct this new study, researchers monitored eight baby flamingos. They used a force place – a device that measures the force applied to the ground – to verify just how much weight one skinny leg is forced to endure. It seems the trick into not getting tired is not to move. Researchers observed that these little birds moved when they were awake but the movements were small. When the birds fell asleep, the movement stopped.
“And that’s the opposite of what we would expect for you or me- if I was standing on one leg and then closed my eyes, typically I would see a great increase in the amount of body sway and usually that results in people having to put their foot down,” mentioned Lena Ting, author of the study.
The researchers also found that the movement of the bird while awake serves to adjust its position. This way, flamingos settle into a position and fall asleep. This posture requires almost no muscle activity and that is why they are able to sleep in one leg. The researchers managed to also make a flamingo’s dead body keep this position.
Image source: Pixabay