Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Unlike other mammals, newborn dolphins and orcas stay active 24/7 during first months of development

30.06.2005


If you thought the sleep-deprived months with your newborn were tough, pity the poor mother dolphin or killer whale.



Reporting in the June 30 edition of the peer-reviewed journal Nature, UCLA/Veterans Affairs neuroscientists report a developmental pattern in bottlenose dolphins and killer whales that is unique from other mammals, with calves of both species active 24 hours a day during their first month.

The mother also has minimal sleep during this period, but unlike all other mammals always manages more sleep than her busy newborns. The newborns and mothers gradually increase sleep over a period of months until they reach normal adult levels. As the newborns grow, neither mothers nor offspring show counterbalancing increases in rest that would indicate accumulated sleepiness.


All mammals previously studied have maximum rest or sleep behavior at birth with amounts gradually decreasing to adult levels. In fact, past findings that sleep deprivation for two to three weeks can be lethal in rats and flies has led to the belief that sleep is critical for the development of brain and body and serves a vital function in adults.

The ability to remain active and responsive after birth has several apparent advantages for newborn cetaceans: Movement and wakefulness reduce danger from predators, help maintain body temperature until mass and blubber insulation develop, allow frequent respiration at the surface, and facilitate rapid growth of brain and body and related behavioral development.

"Somehow these seafaring mammals have found a way to cope with sleep deprivation, facilitating rather than hindering a crucial phase of development for their offspring," said Dr. Jerome Siegel, professor-in-residence at the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at UCLA and chief of neurobiology research at the VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System, Sepulveda. "Their bodies have found a way to cope, offering evidence that sleep isn’t necessary for development and raising the question of whether humans and other mammals have untapped physiological potential for coping without sleep."

Researchers observed two adult female killer whales and their calves at Shamu Stadium at SeaWorld San Diego and four dolphins and their calves housed at the Gelendgick Dolphinarium and the Utrish Marine Mammal Research Station in the Black Sea region of Russia.

Dan Page | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.mednet.ucla.edu
http://www.npi.ucla.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Bolstering fat cells offers potential new leukemia treatment
17.10.2017 | McMaster University

nachricht Ocean atmosphere rife with microbes
17.10.2017 | King Abdullah University of Science & Technology (KAUST)

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Neutron star merger directly observed for the first time

University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event

On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...

Im Focus: Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging

Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.

Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

Im Focus: Shrinking the proton again!

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.

It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy

17.10.2017 | Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

Climate Engineering Conference 2017 Opens in Berlin

10.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Ocean atmosphere rife with microbes

17.10.2017 | Life Sciences

Neutrons observe vitamin B6-dependent enzyme activity useful for drug development

17.10.2017 | Life Sciences

NASA finds newly formed tropical storm lan over open waters

17.10.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>