question - whales - sleep (fwd)

From: Pita Admininstrator (pita@whale.wheelock.edu)
Date: Thu Oct 16 2003 - 07:28:18 EDT

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    ---------- Forwarded message ----------
    Date: Wed, 15 Oct 2003 14:07:49 -0400 (GMT-04:00)
    From: Greg Early <gearly1@earthlink.net>
    To: Mary Vogas <vogas@gte.net>, pita@whale.wheelock.edu
    Subject: question - whales - sleep

    Mary,

    This is sort of a trick question ... The problem is that only bottlenose dolphins have been studied in this way. So what we think we know is really only based on that. The rest is guess. Most scientists seem to agree that whales and dolphins must do something like sleep at some time, and also feel that (based on studies again only condicted on bottlenose dolphins) that cetaceans breathe only when conscious ... so go to sleep completely and breathing stops. Observations of whales and dolphins seem to show that they have short times of inactivity. The guess has always been that whales and dolphins spend short times "cat napping", and/or resting one half of their brain at a time. So basically this is a long way to say "we just do not know for sure".

    ge

    -----Original Message-----
    From: Mary Vogas <vogas@gte.net>
    Sent: Oct 15, 2003 11:25 AM
    To: gearly1@earthlink.net, pita@whale.wheelock.edu
    Subject: question - whales - sleep

    Hello,

    I give programs on endangered animals to students in the Houston area.
    I have read that both bottlenose dolphins and gray whales rests one
    half of its brain, then the other, while swimming all the while. Do
    all whales that have been studied sleep "sleep" in this same way?

    Thanks,

    Mary Vogas



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