5-speed listening (Flamingos - Level 3)

Scientists find out how flamingos stand on one leg



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Scientists believe they have found how flamingos stand on one leg. We all love the image of these beautiful birds standing in water on just one leg. The reason why the birds do this has puzzled scientists for decades. Researchers in Atlanta, USA, say they have uncovered this secret of the natural world. Professor Young-Hui Chang says a flamingo can stand on just one leg for many hours because of its skeleton. The flamingo's hips and leg bones are in a special shape and position that give the bird amazing balance. Professor Chang said the flamingo's basic anatomy (bone structure) means it can stand on one leg with ease. Flamingos do not have to use their muscles a lot to do this.

Another researcher, Lena Ting, said the flamingo is very unique because it can stand still for a long time on one leg. He said it would be very difficult for a human to stay still without moving, even for an hour. He said: "Most of us aren't aware that we're moving around all the time." He added that even when we stand still, we actually move and use a lot of energy. The muscles in our body constantly change to keep us straight and stop us from falling over. The position of the bones in a flamingo means the birds do not need to use so many muscles to keep still. This means they save energy. The researchers say that saving energy could also be the reason other birds stand and sleep on one leg.

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