The Amazon Pink Dolphin’s Voice: Dolphin Sleep Study: Resting Part Of Brain Allows Marine Mammal To Stay Awake For Weeks

Dolphin Sleep Study: Resting Part Of Brain Allows Marine Mammal To Stay Awake For Weeks

Dolphins Sleep

Dolphins can stay constantly alert for more than two weeks by sleeping with only half of their brains, researchers say.

These findings suggest how dolphins can keep on the constant lookout for sharks, investigators added.

Unlike land mammals, dolphins sleep with only part of their brains at any time, past research has suggested. Half of their brains rest, while the other half remains “awake,” and dolphins regularly switch which side is active.

“After being awake for many hours or days, humans and other animals are forced to stop all activity and sleep,” said researcher Brian Branstetter, a marine biologist at the National Marine Mammal Foundation in San Diego. “Dolphins do not have this restriction, and if they did, they would probably drown or become easy prey.”

To see just how mindful dolphins are with just half a brain, researchers tested their ability to scan the environment. Dolphins use echolocation to map the world, a biological form of sonar where they emit clicks and listen for their echoes to probe murky, dark surroundings. [Sleep Tight! Snoozing Animals Gallery]

The researchers set up a portable floating pen outfitted with eight modules, each consisting of an underwater sound projector and microphone. When a dolphin scanned any of these modules using echolocation clicks, they could respond with sounds mimicking echoes of those clicks from remote surfaces. Essentially, these modules could behave as “phantom targets” — illusions that acoustically simulated physical objects.

Source: HUFF POST

SELVA Vida Sin Fronteras acknowledges Kevin Schafer’s important contribution towards protecting the highly endangered Amazon pink fresh water dolphin. Title photographs of our “The Amazon Pink Dolphin’s Voice” were taken by Mr. Schafer. 

 

 

Editorial: SELVA-Vida Sin Fronteras

Selvavidasinfronteras.wordpress.com

Editorial Committee

David Dunham

Arno Ambrosius

Gustavo López Ospina

Mariana Almeida

Pieter Jan Brouwer

Assistant: Emilia Romero

The Amazon Pink Dolphin’s Voice is associated with the International Environmental Mission, a grass roots citizens movement created by Chilean Senator Juan Pablo Letelier.

 

Advertisements

~ by FSVSF Admin on 19 October, 2012.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
%d bloggers like this: