The Ways Animals Sleep

Dogs and cats sleep curled up like a ball, with the purpose of heat preservation, muscle relaxation and protection. The animals instinctively close the delicate skin of the abdomen unprotected by ribs, exposing spine and back bones. Even in comfortable environment, their memory reminds about possible dangers and they are alert during the sleep. They have good sense of smell and hearing. A dog can even wake up in the middle of the night, if smells someone outside the front door.

It is believed that horses sleep only in standing position, and this is due to the unique structure of their legs. When a horse distributes the weight evenly on all four legs, bones and ligaments in the limbs are blocked, and a horse can relax muscles even when standing. However, in this position, the horse doesn’t sleep, this is only a nap. The average horse’s nap is 6-8 hours a day, and sleeping - just 2-3.

Elephants have also adapted to sleep while standing - two or three hours a day, usually in the hottest midday hours. And only young and female elephants lie down.

Giraffes bend the neck, so that the head is resting on the bottom of the hind limb. However, the sleep lasts only 20 minutes per night. During the day they nap while standing with eyes closed; sometimes put the head between the branches to keep from falling.

Bats sleep more than 90% of all their lives. Hibernation lasts from five to nine months, but at other times they fly only in the short hours of the night, and in the day time they sleep in the upside down position, because of the structure of the legs and wings. Bats spend the entire life only in two positions: either flying or hanging upside down.

Seals can sleep at the bottom under water, but every five minutes they rise to the surface for air. Sea lions and otters can sleep in the water while lying on their backs.

Dolphins don’t have the phase of deep sleep, because after a certain period of time they need to jump out of the water and take a breath. The hemispheres of their brain are awake alternately.

Some scientists suggest that birds can sleep during the flights, especially when they leave their home nests and go on long distances. To find out whether storks sleep in the air, the ornithologists attached devices on birds’ breasts, recording the work of their heart, wings, and the circulatory system. It was found that storks have naps in the flight. A tired stork flies in the center of the run and closes the eyes. The hearing is sharpened and it hears flapping of front and rear wings, so it doesn’t lose the direction and height. After ten minutes a stork gains strength and flies in the head or tail of the group, giving way to another tired stork.

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