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Unlike humans who when they go to sleep have to shut down both hemispheres of the brain, scientists are discovering that some migratory birds can fly with half of there brain and sleep using the other have. Some have also been in deep REM sleep with both sides shut down in flight.Because birds fly at times for weeks on end in migratory patterns never touching the ground researchers have discovered that the frigate birds can sleep with both half’s of their brain shut down.  According to lead author Neil Rattenburg, “Most people assumed that birds sleep unihemispherically in flight,” but this is no longer so.Researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology tracked the brain activity of 15 frigate birds over 10 days and 3,000 miles. Their findings where that these seabirds can fly in different levels of sleep from short burst of REM to unihemispherically sleeping in flight.The only other animal known to sleep in this state is the beloved dolphin. As humans we quickly deteriorate with out adequate sleep and in some cases people have died do to shear exhaustion.According to Dr. Rattenburg, “Determining why some animals can perform adaptively on little sleep, while others rapidly become compromised, may lead to new insight into the functions of sleep and the consequences of its loss.” Click Here To Read The Full Article
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