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Animals

Do Fish Sleep?

A peek into nighttime at the aquarium Most animals sleep, and fish are no different. But how water-dwellers snooze can look really different from the way humans get their zzz’s. Some differences are obvious (for instance, they don’t lie down or close their eyelids, since sharks are the only fish that even have them and only close them to protect their eyes during encounters with other animals), while others are not-so-obvious (fish never go into REM sleep and some, like sharks, have to keep swimming while they snooze, because they need constant ventilation of their gills). But no matter what state sleep takes, the general idea is the same: It’s a period when activity…

Animals That Sleep the Least

What feels like a nap to you might be a full night of sleep for a wild animal The animal kingdom has a wide range of species, and not all of them require tons of sleep. Animals that graze to eat sleep less than those that hunt and can eat a big, meaty meal in one sitting. And larger animals tend to sleep less than smaller ones. Learn about some of the species that get by on the smallest amount of shut-eye. Walruses: These guys may look sleepy in photos or at the zoo, but they can actually go for up to 84 hours straight without a single minute of sleep. And they aren’t just…

Animals That Get the Most Sleep

Are sloths the laziest animal? Learn the truth! Sleep, as you know, is a fundamental part of life. You need it, your dog or cat needs it, and even animals in the wild need it. While humans require a certain amount of slumber each night to function optimally and remain physically and mentally healthy (hint: usually seven to nine hours!), for animals, there’s a whole other set of criteria. How much sleep do animals need? Of course, the answer to this question will vary by species, but there’s one thing that we know for certain—some animals spend way more time asleep every single day than humans do! Although…

Animals and Hibernating: Are They Really Asleep?

Find out what really goes on during those winter months. Lots of animals hibernate, like frogs, mice, squirrels, hedgehogs, and even skunks! You might think that they hibernate—a.k.a. take cover in a warm, sheltered environment during the long, cold winter months—to simply sleep away the season and avoid extremely low temperatures. But there’s actually a lot more to it than that. Take bears, for example. While it’s true that bears don’t need to eat or drink (or even urinate or defecate!) while they hibernate, they actually aren’t asleep the whole time. Hibernating bears will, on occasion, leave their dens—particularly when the dens are damaged or flooded. And even while they’re still in the den, hibernating bears…