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How do animals sleep? Interesting facts

Sleep is an important part of the life cycle of both humans and animals. However, animals have mastered many ways of sleeping that are simply not possible for humans.In this article, we will tell you some interesting facts about how animals sleep.

Why do animals sleep curled up?

Dogs and cats sleep curled up in a ball for warmth, muscle relaxation and protection. The animal instinctively covers sensitive, exposed ribs and abdominal tissues, straightening the spine and back bones. And even cats and dogs, who live in domestic conditions where nothing threatens them, are not oblivious to the potential dangers that are embedded in their cerebral cortex, and so remain vigilant even when they are asleep.The hearing and sense of smell of these animals are on 24-hour alert. And if a dog is asleep at night and someone pulls the door handle outside the door, it will immediately start barking.

Why do animals sleep standing up?

Traditionally, horses are thought to sleep standing up. This strange way of sleeping is related to, that their legs have a unique structure. When a horse is standing, with its weight equally distributed on all four legs, the bones and ligaments in its limbs lock together, so that when the horse sleeps, even when standing, the muscles are completely relaxed. But in this position, the horse is not sleeping, it is merely dozing. To sleep, it lies down, but not for long. On average, a horse naps for six to eight hours a day, but sleeps for only two to three hours and snores at the same time.

Elephants have adapted similarly to their environment and have mastered short naps while standing. This usually takes two to three hours, and takes place in the hot afternoon rather than at night. Only the juveniles and females lie on their sides.

A sleeping giraffe lies with its neck bent so that its head is resting on the back of its lower limb. However, her sleep is even shorter – about 20 minutes a night. The giraffe compensates for this catastrophic lack of sleep by taking plenty of daytime naps. When she naps, she stands with her eyes closed and her head between branches. In this way the animal does not lose its balance and does not collapse.

Why do bats sleep upside down?

Bats sleep over 90% of their lives. Bats spend only 10% of their time roosting. This is partly explained by the fact that the bat hibernates. Hibernation lasts between five and nine months, and the rest of the time it only occasionally leaves its roost to fly at night. However, its flights are short-lived. During the day, the bat sleeps, and only upside down.

This is explained by the specific structure of the bat’s wings and talons. But few people know that the bat spends its entire life in only two positions – it either hangs upside down or flies. It can neither sit nor walk.

How do animals sleep in water?

Seals may sleep at the bottom of a pond, but they rise to the surface every five minutes to get a breath of air.Sea lions, on the other hand, sleep more comfortably: like otters, they do so by lying on their backs in water.

Fish don’t sleep at all – they rest motionless, pwaiting along the bottom or hiding in caves. Dolphins don’t sleep very deeply either, as they need to jump out of the water at certain times to get a breath of air. When they rest, the hemispheres of their brains alternate. While one hemisphere sleeps, the other works, allowing the dolphin to swim, breathe and keep an eye out for sharks, which are never asleep and are in constant motion.

How and why do birds sleep in the air?

Some scientists believe that birds can sleep while flying. This is necessary for them to be able to leave their nests when flying long distances without stopping. To find out whether storks sleep in flight, ornithologists have fitted special devices on the birds’ chests to record the work of their heart, circulatory system and wings during flight.

It was found that storks doze off in flight. When a stork is very tired, it flies from its position in the centre of the flock to the centre of the flock and closes its eyes. At the same time, the stork’s hearing becomes more acute, and because of this, it can also be heard from the long distance.

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