MadSci Network: Zoology

Re: Why do pigeons move their heads when they walk?

Date: Mon Sep 6 09:19:06 1999
Posted By: Ankur Shah, Medical student, Medicine(MBBS), Medical College
Area of science: Zoology
ID: 935204130.Zo

It's a good thing you figured out that pigeons move their neck for the 
same reason as why we move our hands while walking.
Basically, we move our hands while walking to keep our balance. The 
principle behind this is the centre of gravity of our body. When we walk, 
because of the movement of the legs, the centre of gravity of our body 
tends to shift. This can lead to an imbalance finally resulting in a fall. 
The movement of the hands counters this imbalance and hence we walk 
In our body, the head being heavier than the remaining parts of the body, 
the centre of gravity is located more towards the top, than exactly in the 
middle. Similarly, for pigeons, their head weighs less than the 
remaining parts of the body, and so the centre of gravity shifts towards 
the tail. In order to prevent them tipping over backwards, they move their 
necks to gain proper balance. If you might have noticed, other birds which 
do not move their necks, will tend to waddle like ducks while walking. 
This is also for the same reason.
Well, one more thing. If you do not know what centre of gravity is, in 
simple terms, it is an imaginary point where the whole mass of a body is 
concentrated. For more info, look up the MADSCI archives and library.

Current Queue | Current Queue for Zoology | Zoology archives

Try the links in the MadSci Library for more information on Zoology.

MadSci Home | Information | Search | Random Knowledge Generator | MadSci Archives | Mad Library | MAD Labs | MAD FAQs | Ask a ? | Join Us! | Help Support MadSci

MadSci Network,
© 1995-1999. All rights reserved.