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01 March, 2024
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How Chinstrap penguins stay alert 24/7 during nesting season

10,000 micro-naps a day for egg-guarding dads


In a groundbreaking study, scientists uncover the remarkable micro-napping habit of male chinstrap penguins, who manage to stay alert 24/7 while safeguarding their precious eggs.

Named after the distinctive black line beneath their beaks, these penguins take the art of napping to Olympic levels, snoozing for a mere four seconds at a time, accumulating around 10,000 naps a day during nesting season.

As reported by Metro UK, the research, led by Dr. Paul-Antoine Libourel from Claude Bernard University Lyon 1, France, involved attaching sensors to 14 nesting penguins to monitor their brain activity for 11 days.

The data revealed a unique sleep pattern, allowing the penguins to accumulate about 11 hours of sleep while maintaining a constant watchful eye on their eggs.

The study sheds light on how different species can adapt their sleep to specific needs, prompting questions about the potential consequences of such fragmented sleep.

Dr. Anne Auslebrook at the Max Planck Institute for Biological Intelligence in Germany notes, "I think we tend to underestimate how flexible sleep can be," emphasizing the importance of understanding sleep variations across species living in diverse environments.

Despite the fascinating insights, the study leaves open the question of whether this unconventional sleep pattern comes at a cost for the vigilant penguin dads.

[With information sourced from Metro UK]

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