Subject: Re: whales-sleeping habits
Wed, 12 Mar 1997 19:45:37 GMT+1200

Date:          Tue, 11 Mar 1997 12:53:03 -0500 (EST)
From:          shorton@SCOCA.OHIO.GOV
Subject:       whales-sleeping habits

I am sending this message at the request of a student here at Mt. Logan 
School.  Brian Watson would like to know the following:

How do whales breathe while they sleep, and do they stay under water 
while they are sleeping?  What are their sleeping habits? 

Dear Brian,

scientists believe that whales sleep with only half their brain.  In other words, while half 
their brain is shutdown, the other half stays awake to monitor their breathing.  They sleep 
at or just bellow the surface and breath at the surface every few minutes (2 or 3 minutes 
for the large whales).  I have seen right whales in deep slumber, and some say the deepest 
sleeper is the sperm whale who can sleep for hours on end. 

Nathalie Patenaude