Newborn dolphins, killer whales never sleep -study

Mrs. Dolphin, I feel your pain, really I do....
Mother of freak baby that did not sleep for the FIRST YEAR!

LONDON (Reuters) - Sleep-deprived mothers of newborn babies should spare a thought for bottlenose dolphins and killer whales.

A study has shown the young of those two species do not sleep at all during the first month of life. They are active 24 hours a day -- and their mothers have learned to cope.

"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," Dr Jerome Siegel, a neuroscientist at the University of California - Los Angeles (UCLA), said in a statement.

Siegel and his colleagues said the developmental pattern they discovered in the dolphins and whales is different from all other mammals.

As the calves of both species grow, their sleep gradually increases to adult levels.

"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," Siegel said.

The scientists, who reported the findings in the journal Nature, believe the newborns' lack of sleep has several advantages. Their constant movement reduces the danger from predators and helps maintain their body temperature until they develop greater mass and blubber.

It also enables them to swim to the surface frequently to breathe and helps their body and brain to develop.

The scientists observed two adult killer whales and their calves at SeaWorld in San Diego, California and four dolphins and their offspring at the Utrish Marine Mammal Research Station in the Black Sea region of Russia for five months after birth.

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