Monday, April 21, 2014

How do dolphins sleep?

Nothing gets your attention on a night crossing like a big splash off the bow of the boat!  When it recently happened to me, I was able to see in the moon light the streak of a dolphin playing in our bow wake.

Motivator’s speed and bow wake must be what dolphins like because we seem to have plenty of visits.

The night visits raised our curiosity.  If they are busy scaring us at night, when and how do they sleep?  Google it!

Scientists think that dolphins sleep by shutting down half their brain.  For approximately 4 hours one side of their brain is asleep, then the other side for another 4 hours.  The awake half is controlling breathing (they are mammals, so they have to surface for air) and keeping one eye open for predators (the eye on the opposite side of the half asleep).  In captivity, dolphins have been observed drifting to the bottom of the pool then slowly rising to the surface for a breath.  We must have experienced the party animals.  

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