Sweet Dreams

How an­i­mals get their shut eye

Wild - - FRONT PAGE -

Half Asleep

Wal­ruses are great at mul­ti­task­ing (do­ing more than one thing at once). When they get hun­gry, they can dive un­der­wa­ter to search for prey and have a cat nap too since they can hold their breath for up to five min­utes. And why not get a lit­tle nap in when you know your body is de­signed to keep you afloat? It’s true. Their bod­ies have these cool pouches that stop them from sink­ing.

Sleep­ing Up­side Down

Some peo­ple sleep on their sides. Oth­ers snooze on their tum­mies. But bats like to rest up­side down. Not the most com­fort­able po­si­tion if you ask me, but they do this for a good rea­son. These small mam­mals have fairly frag­ile wings, and so tak­ing flight from this po­si­tion is eas­ier on their lit­tle bod­ies. But wouldn’t it be un­com­fort­able sleep­ing up­side down? Not for bats! The Lit­tle Brown Bat is happy to sleep that way for al­most 20 hours a day!

Skip­ping Bed­time

Sperm Whales don’t need much rest to feel rested. They take short and fre­quent naps near the water’s sur­face. But get this. They don’t breathe or move while they’re nap­ping un­der­wa­ter. Crazy!

Slum­ber Par­ties

Sea Ot­ters don’t like to snooze alone. That’s why they’ll join paws when they feel sleepy. That way they’ll be able to stay to­gether as a group and won’t drift away from each other. While you might see just a cou­ple of Sea Ot­ters slum­ber­ing to­gether, they also love a slum­ber party with dozens joining the float­ing group! Can we join?!

Slow Down

While some an­i­mals like the Black Bear will hi­ber­nate when Old Man Win­ter rolls into their neck of the woods, oth­ers will go into shorter pe­ri­ods of in­ac­tiv­ity, called tor­por. That means that an­i­mals like the Amer­i­can Bad­ger will drop their body tem­per­a­ture, rate of breath­ing and even their heart­beat to cut the amount of en­ergy they need to sur­vive the win­ter.

Head in the Clouds

Have you ever wo­ken up in the mid­dle of the night stand­ing in your par­ents’ room or at the bath­room sink won­der­ing how in the world you got there? Birds do the same thing, ex­cept they may wake up in a dif­fer­ent province! Okay, it’s a lit­tle more com­pli­cated than that. You see, birds can sleep with one eye open and only half the brain buzzing with ac­tiv­ity while fly­ing south for the win­ter. But they let them­selves sleep this way only when air cur­rents are rising to help keep them fly­ing high.

You Snooze, You Lose

Sci­en­tists have found that her­bi­vores (an­i­mals that eat plants) get less shut-eye than car­ni­vores (an­i­mals that eat meat) since they need to keep their en­ergy up by chow­ing down on plants. Deer, for ex­am­ple, get only about three hours of sleep a day, which ex­plains why they’re so ac­tive at dusk.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.