Picture of the day

Here’s a fascinating image of sperm whales “sleeping” vertically in the water, just a few feet below the surface of the sea.  It’s from a series of photographs provided by National Geographic.  (Click the image for a larger view.)

The article cites a 2008 study:

The whales were found to spend seven percent of their day in these vertical sleeping positions near the surface of the water, where they napped from 10 to 15 minutes. Researchers suggested at the time that they might be one of the world’s least sleep-dependent animals.

There’s more at the link, and more photographs, too, available in a larger size than provided here.  It makes very interesting reading.



  1. I read that last week, & found it fascinating.
    While we all can (and I do) bitch about the imbecility to be found on the Intarwebs, online access is, or can be, a wonderful tool.
    I sometimes think of how much more I could have learned when I was a boy; on the other hand, I think I prefer the way my youth was, when you had to go to some considerable trouble to find the information. If nothing else, I learned how to look for it, no small thing in itself, and the discipline necessary to keep digging for knowledge.
    When obtained, of course, it was treasured, as a result of diligence & hard work.
    –Tennessee Budd

  2. IIRC, cetaceans could put half their brain to sleep, by turns, which allowed them to keep controlling breath. Their breath IS conscious. I think I read it as an abstract in something along the lines of New Scientist (maybe NS itself) a bunch of years ago.

    Take care.


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