Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Dolphins can remain alert for up to 15 days at a time with no sign of fatigue

Date:
October 17, 2012
Source:
Public Library of Science
Summary:
Dolphins sleep with only one half of their brains at a time, and according to new research, this trait allows them to stay constantly alert for at least 15 days in a row.

The female dolphin SAY who performed a continuous echolocation tasks for 15 days.
Credit: Brian Branstetter

Dolphins sleep with only one half of their brains at a time, and according to new research published Oct. 17 in the open access journal PLOS ONE, this trait allows them to stay constantly alert for at least 15 days in a row. Brian Branstetter from the National Marine Mammal Foundation and colleagues found that dolphins can use echolocation with near-perfect accuracy continuously for up to 15 days, identifying targets and monitoring their environment.

Related Articles


The researchers studied 2 dolphins, one male and one female, and found that they were capable of this task with no signs of fatigue for 5 days. The female dolphin performed additional tasks for a 15-day period. How much longer they could have continued was not studied.

Sleeping with only one half of the brain at a time, or unihemispheric sleep, was believed to have evolved in dolphins to enable them to breathe at the surface of water even when half-asleep. This new research suggests that the need to remain vigilant may also have played a role in the evolution of this sleeping behavior.

"These majestic beasts are true unwavering sentinels of the sea. The demands of ocean life on air breathing dolphins have led to incredible capabilities, one of which is the ability to continuously, perhaps indefinitely, maintain vigilant behavior through echolocation" says Branstetter.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Public Library of Science. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Branstetter BK, Finneran JJ, Fletcher EA, Weisman BC, Ridgway SH. Dolphins Can Maintain Vigilant Behavior through Echolocation for 15 Days without Interruption or Cognitive Impairment. PLoS ONE, 2012; 7 (10): e47478 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0047478

Cite This Page:

Public Library of Science. "Dolphins can remain alert for up to 15 days at a time with no sign of fatigue." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 October 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121017181244.htm>.
Public Library of Science. (2012, October 17). Dolphins can remain alert for up to 15 days at a time with no sign of fatigue. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121017181244.htm
Public Library of Science. "Dolphins can remain alert for up to 15 days at a time with no sign of fatigue." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121017181244.htm (accessed November 28, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Friday, November 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

New Dinosaur Species Found in Museum Collection

New Dinosaur Species Found in Museum Collection

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 27, 2014) A British palaeontologist has discovered a new species of dinosaur while studying fossils in a Canadian museum. Pentaceratops aquilonius was related to Triceratops and lived at the end of the Cretaceous Period, around 75 million years ago. Jim Drury has more. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Classic Hollywood Memorabilia Goes Under the Hammer

Classic Hollywood Memorabilia Goes Under the Hammer

Reuters - Entertainment Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) The iconic piano from "Casablanca" and the Cowardly Lion suit from "The Wizard of Oz" fetch millions at auction. Sara Hemrajani reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) Researchers in the United States are preparing to discover whether a drug commonly used in human organ transplants can extend the lifespan and health quality of pet dogs. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) The US FDA is announcing new calorie rules on Tuesday that will require everywhere from theaters to vending machines to include calorie counts. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins