The Surprising Way Whales Nest!

Turns whales are some of the less sleep dependent creatures on the planets as they were found to only spend seven percent of their day sleeping according to researchers. And when they do sleep, according to a recent study they assume vertical sleeping positions near the surface of the water. And sleep was bried as they only napped from 10 to 15 minutes.  How whales sleep in the wild was not really understood or studied. Researchers from the University of St. Andrews and the University of Tokyo measured the animals’ periods of inactivity via data-collecting tags suction cupped to 59 sperm whales.

Here what Current Biology said in a summary:

Though very little is known about sleep in wild cetaceans, toothed cetaceans in captivity sleep with one side of their brain at a time [1]. Such uni-hemispheric sleep is thought to enable swimming, voluntary breathing, predator avoidance and/or social contact during sleep at sea [23]. Using suction cup tags, we discovered that sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) worldwide conduct passive shallow ‘drift-dives’ in stereotypical vertical postures just below the sea surface. Bouts of drift-dives accounted for 7.1% of recording time, or 36.7% of non-foraging time. Drift-dives were weakly diurnal, occurring least from 06:00–12:00 (3% of records), and most from 18:00–24:00 (30% of records). A group of vertically drifting whales were atypically non–responsive to a closely-passing vessel until it inadvertently touched them, suggesting that sperm whales might sleep during these stereotypical resting dives.

Whales in captivity have been found to use only half their brain while sleeping, a behavior scientists think could help them avoid predators, maintain social contact, control breathing, or continue swimming. Now the question to you sleep like a whale or African lion? Male lions spend 18 to 20 hours a day snoozing, while females get 15 to 18 hours of shuteye.

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