Jan 20, 2019 | Updated: 08:39 AM EST

Flamingo Balancing Act Has No Muscular Effort, Saves Energy: Research Reveals

May 27, 2017 08:06 PM EDT


It is well known that flamingos sleep standing on one leg, which is also known as Flamingo balancing act. Most of the time, people see flamingos in the zoo but only some lucky ones get to see the balancing act of these amazing birds.

A new research reveals some extraordinary information about the flamingo balancing act. According to BBC, scientists have confirmed that while flamingos perform the balancing act, they are actually saving energy. The flamingo balancing act is considered to be their signature pose but how they perch on just one limb is a very hard puzzle.

The research team from the United States have found useful information regarding the flamingo balancing act, i.e. there is no active muscular effort put by the flamingos when they are unipedal. It also means that they are expanding less energy and the energy is being saved. However, there is a passive mechanism involved in performing the balancing act.

In the past years, researchers were wondering if the flamingo balancing act helps in reducing muscle fatigue because flamingos usually alternate from standing on one leg to another. The research team also propose that this type of behavior in the bird helps in regulating the body temperature. Inverse reported that the flamingo anatomy along with gravity helps the flamingo in standing on one leg.

Researchers involved in this research are Prof Young-Hui Chang, from the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) in Atlanta and Lena H Ting, of Atlanta's Emory University and their team. The research paper on the Flamingo balancing act has been published in the Royal Society journal Biology Letters. In the paper, this balancing act mechanism is described as a 'passive gravitational stay mechanism'. The researchers conducted experiments on both live and dead birds, to come to a conclusion for the study.

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