Why do flamingos stand on one leg?

Science question for kids: Why do flamingos stand on one leg?

What kids can do: Practice flamingo pose. (This is from our Yoga subscription box for kids.) Stand tall. Raise one arm above your head and curve your hand to form a flamingo's beak. Bend your opposite leg and grab your foot so that you're standing on one leg. Now close your eyes and pretend to sleep! Try to imagine why it would be useful for flamingos to stand and sometimes sleep on one leg!





Answer: Flamingos often stand and sleep on one leg. But why? The truth is scientists aren’t entirely sure. Some scientists think that standing on one leg helps flamingos conserve body heat and stay warmer. When flamingos stand in water, they can lose body heat to the water. Keeping one leg tucked underneath keeps the flamingos from losing as much body heat.

Another theory is that it’s just more comfortable. Yet another theory is that it actually takes less effort for flamingos to stand on one leg than on two legs!

Which theory do you think is more likely?

More flamingo fun: Watch these flamingo dance moves here.

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