Navigation Links
Unlike other mammals, newborn dolphins and orcas stay active 24/7 during first months of development

If you thought the sleep-deprived months with your newborn were tough, pity the poor mother dolphin or killer whale.

Reporting in the June 30 edition of the peer-reviewed journal Nature, UCLA/Veterans Affairs neuroscientists report a developmental pattern in bottlenose dolphins and killer whales that is unique from other mammals, with calves of both species active 24 hours a day during their first month.

The mother also has minimal sleep during this period, but unlike all other mammals always manages more sleep than her busy newborns. The newborns and mothers gradually increase sleep over a period of months until they reach normal adult levels. As the newborns grow, neither mothers nor offspring show counterbalancing increases in rest that would indicate accumulated sleepiness.

All mammals previously studied have maximum rest or sleep behavior at birth with amounts gradually decreasing to adult levels. In fact, past findings that sleep deprivation for two to three weeks can be lethal in rats and flies has led to the belief that sleep is critical for the development of brain and body and serves a vital function in adults.

The ability to remain active and responsive after birth has several apparent advantages for newborn cetaceans: Movement and wakefulness reduce danger from predators, help maintain body temperature until mass and blubber insulation develop, allow frequent respiration at the surface, and facilitate rapid growth of brain and body and related behavioral development.

"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," said Dr. Jerome Siegel, professor-in-residence at the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at UCLA and chief of neurobiology research at the VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System, Sepulveda. "Their bodies have found a way to cope, offering evidence that sleep isn't nec essary for development and raising the question of whether humans and other mammals have untapped physiological potential for coping without sleep."

Researchers observed two adult female killer whales and their calves at Shamu Stadium at SeaWorld San Diego and four dolphins and their calves housed at the Gelendgick Dolphinarium and the Utrish Marine Mammal Research Station in the Black Sea region of Russia.


Source:University of California - Los Angeles

Related biology news :

1. FDA: Highly Unlikely Green Tea Lowers Cancer Risk
2. Adding Radiation Therapy To Chemotherapy Improves Survival In Patients With High-risk Breast Cancer
3. Another Look Finds Promising Proteomics Test is Not Biologically Plausible
4. Elephants imitate truck noises, other animals
5. Deficiency of growth hormone and IGF-1 reduces cancer and kidney disease, but creates other problems
6. NJIT Presidential Award winner takes stem cell research another step
7. New Treatment Rivals Chemotherapy For Lymphoma, Study Finds
8. NASA links nanobacteria to kidney stones and other diseases
9. Anti cancer virotherapy well tolerated in first human administration, research finds
10. Bevacizumab Combined With Chemotherapy Improves Progression-Free Survival for Patients With Advanced Breast Cancer
11. Report that delayed motherhood decreases life expectancy of mouse offspring
Post Your Comments:

(Date:4/14/2016)... AVIV, Israel , April 14, 2016 ... Behavioral Authentication and Malware Detection, today announced the appointment ... already assumed the new role. Goldwerger,s leadership ... BioCatch, on the heels of the deployment of its ... addition, BioCatch,s behavioral biometric technology, which discerns unique cognitive ...
(Date:3/31/2016)... -- Genomics firm Nabsys has completed a financial  restructuring under ... M.D., who returned to the company in October 2015. ... including Chief Technology Officer, John Oliver , Ph.D., ... Vice President of Software and Informatics, Michael Kaiser ... Bready served as CEO of Nabsys from 2005-2014 and ...
(Date:3/22/2016)... PUNE, India , March 22, 2016 ... new market research report "Electronic Sensors Market for ... Fingerprint, Proximity, & Others), Application (Communication & ... and Geography - Global Forecast to 2022", ... consumer industry is expected to reach USD ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... 2016 Epic Sciences unveiled a liquid ... to PARP inhibitors by targeting homologous recombination deficiency ... new test has already been incorporated into numerous ... types. Over 230 clinical trials are ... including PARP, ATM, ATR, DNA-PK and WEE-1. Drugs ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... ... to announce the launch of their brand, UP4™ Probiotics, into Target stores nationwide. ... years, is proud to add Target to its list of well-respected retailers. This ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 Houston ... with the Cy-Fair Sports Association to serve as ... the agreement, Houston Methodist Willowbrook will provide sponsorship ... and connectivity with association coaches, volunteers, athletes and ... with the Cy-Fair Sports Association and to bring ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016   EpiBiome , ... secured $1 million in debt financing from Silicon Valley ... up automation and to advance its drug development efforts, ... new facility. "SVB has been an incredible ... the services a traditional bank would provide," said Dr. ...
Breaking Biology Technology: