From: BYoung3672@aol.com [SMTP:BYoung3672@aol.com]
Sent: Tuesday, June 03, 2003 3:17 PM
To: email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org
Subject: How do whales sleep?
Could you please tell me how whales sleep ? I am 8 years old and doing a
school project.I thank you and look foward to your reply.Abi
Scientists are not too sure, but they generally agree that whales probably
do not sleep anything like you or me.
It appears (and research has shown) that dolphins stop breathing if they
lose consciousness, like we do when we are completely asleep. This has led
to the belief that whales and dolphins must be conscious or at least partly
awake in order to breath.
Scientists and whale watchers have seen whale hanging at the surface not
moving very much for short periods of time (minutes to an hour or so) and
they appear to be napping (but not really asleep). There has been some
research that seems to show that part of a dolphins brain is always active
even when they are "sleeping". So basically we think that whales either
take short "cat naps" or literally sleep with "one eye open" (and part of
their brain active), but never fall completely asleep for hours like you
There is some concern that even though whales only doze at the surface for
short periods, this still makes them more likely to be hit by ships.
This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Wed Jun 04 2003 - 21:40:38 EDT