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Biochemistry, Biophysics, and Structural Biology Commons

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Animal Sciences

Charles J. Amlaner

Aquatic mammals

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Full-Text Articles in Biochemistry, Biophysics, and Structural Biology

Behavioral, Neurophysiological And Evolutionary Perspectives On Unihemispheric Sleep, Niels Rattenborg, Charles Amlaner, Steven Lima Nov 2000

Behavioral, Neurophysiological And Evolutionary Perspectives On Unihemispheric Sleep, Niels Rattenborg, Charles Amlaner, Steven Lima

Charles J. Amlaner

Several animals mitigate the fundamental conflict between sleep and wakefulness by engaging in unihemispheric sleep, a unique state during which one cerebral hemisphere sleeps while the other remains awake. Among mammals, unihemispheric sleep is restricted to aquatic species (Cetaceans, cared seals and manatees). in contrast to mammals, unihemispheric sleep is widespread in birds, and may even occur in reptiles. Unihemispheric sleep allows surfacing to breathe in aquatic mammals and predator detection in birds. Despite the apparent utility in being able to sleep unihemispherically, very few mammals sleep in this manner. This is particularly interesting since the reptilian ancestors to mammals ...