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How do marine mammals sleep underwater?


If marine mammals want to sleep, they can’t just close their eyes and drift away for the night, as they need to intermediately surface for air. Nor can they float at the water’s surface and slumber, because that exposes them to predators and heat loss. So how do marine mammals get any shut-eye without putting themselves at risk?

One solution is to shut down one half of their brain at a time. Called unihemispheric sleep, it’s one way marine mammals, such as dolphins, can get some rest while in open water.

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