Agriculture
Silk’s superpowers
Treating peanut allergy bit by bit
New Gene Fights Potato Blight
Amphibians
Poison Dart Frogs
Bullfrogs
Toads
Animals
Color-Changing Bugs
Fishy Cleaners
A Whale's Amazing Tooth
Behavior
Contemplating thought
Training Your Brain to Feel Less Pain
A brain-boosting video game
Birds
Pheasants
Lovebirds
Mockingbirds
Chemistry and Materials
Heaviest named element is official
Diamond Glow
These gems make their own way
Computers
The Earth-bound asteroid scientists saw coming
Small but WISE
Lighting goes digital
Dinosaurs and Fossils
Dino Flesh from Fossil Bone
Ferocious Growth Spurts
An Ancient Spider's Web
E Learning Jamaica
E Learning in Jamaica WIN PRIZES and try our Fun Animated Games
Results of GSAT are in schools this week
2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
Earth
Deep History
Earth's Poles in Peril
Undersea Vent System Active for Ages
Environment
Catching Some Rays
Will Climate Change Depose Monarchs?
Shrimpy Invaders
Finding the Past
Words of the Distant Past
Little People Cause Big Surprise
A Long Haul
Fish
Lampreys
Mako Sharks
Halibut
Food and Nutrition
The Essence of Celery
How Super Are Superfruits?
Making good, brown fat
GSAT English Rules
Order of Adjectives
Whoever vs. Whomever
Problems with Prepositions
GSAT Exam Preparation Jamaica
March 21-22, 2013: Over 43,000 students will take the GSAT Exam
The Annual GSAT Scholarships
Results of GSAT are in schools this week
GSAT Exams Jamaica Scholarships
GSAT stars reap scholarship glory
2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
42,000 students will sit for the GSAT Exam in two weeks
GSAT Mathematics
GSAT Mathematics Quiz, Teaching Math, teaching anxiety
Math of the World
Math Naturals
Human Body
Cell Phones and Possible Health Hazards
Hear, Hear
Cell Phone Tattlers
Invertebrates
Earthworms
Sponges
Butterflies
Mammals
Mule
Killer Whales
Horses
Parents
The Surprising Meaning and Benefits of Nursery Rhymes
What Not to Say to Emerging Readers
Choosing a Preschool: What to Consider
Physics
One ring around them all
Einstein's Skateboard
Strange Universe: The Stuff of Darkness
Plants
Cactus Goo for Clean Water
Flower family knows its roots
Hungry bug seeks hot meal
Reptiles
Snakes
Geckos
Gila Monsters
Space and Astronomy
Saturn's New Moons
Planet Hunters Nab Three More
Pluto, plutoid: What's in a name?
Technology and Engineering
Bionic Bacteria
Algae Motors
A Light Delay
The Parts of Speech
What is a Preposition?
What is a Noun
Adjectives and Adverbs
Transportation
Middle school science adventures
Ready, unplug, drive
Troubles with Hubble
Weather
Arctic Melt
In Antarctica watch the heat (and your step)
Polar Ice Feels the Heat
Add your Article

Sleepless at Sea

Wouldn't it be great to stay up all night without feeling tired the next day? Orca-whale and dolphin babies and moms are champions of sleeplessness. They stay awake for a month after the babies are born—without showing any ill effects. And they don't even need extra sleep later on to make up for the loss. Oleg Lyamin of the University of California, Los Angeles studies marine mammals such as orcas and dolphins. He discovered these animals' unusual sleep habits by watching orca Kasatka and her baby Nakai at SeaWorld, San Diego, just after Nakai was born. Kasatka and Nakai swam around their pool 24 hours a day, instead of floating motionless and closing their eyes the way that other adult orcas do when they sleep. Adults typically sleep for 5 to 8 hours. Lyamin and his fellow researchers visited dolphin moms and babies at the Utrish Dolphinarium in Russia to see if they did the same thing. Dolphins are strange sleepers to begin with. A dolphin snoozes with only one-half of its brain at a time, closing one eye and either floating or swimming. But mother and newborn dolphins didn't even sleep that much. Instead, they kept both eyes open and swam around constantly. No other mammal has ever been found to sleep so little for so long. Moreover, most mammal babies, including those of humans, typically need much more sleep than adults do. In contrast, Nakai and the dolphin infants needed even less sleep than their moms. Both mother and baby whales and dolphins gradually increased their sleep to normal adult levels over a period of months. Scientists who study sleep are surprised by the findings. Other animals, such as rats, get sick or die if they're deprived of sleep. Many researchers have argued that people and animals need sleep in order to learn, just as students in school need a good night's rest after studying to do well on an exam. Babies in particular need sleep so that their brains can develop. Both orcas and dolphins are intelligent animals with large brains. Because orca and dolphin babies don't seem to doze at all while their brains are growing, they must not need sleep for learning or brain development, argues Jerry Siegel, who worked with Lyamin. He suggests that sleep serves other, as yet unknown, roles in mammals. It's also possible that orcas and dolphins have evolved special ways to develop and learn without sleep. Or, these marine mammals may simply have an unusual form of "sleep-swimming." It'd be like a sleepwalker who goes to the kitchen, opens the refrigerator, and grabs a snack while brainwave recordings would show he or she is in a deep sleep. Why do orcas and dolphins need to remain constantly active after a baby is born? Maybe they need to stay active to survive, Siegel says. First, newborns need to breathe every 30 seconds, and mothers help push their babies to the surface to breathe, Siegel says. Secondly, baby whales and dolphins haven't yet developed the thick blubber coat that protects them against the cold ocean waters when they're older. Staying active may help keep them warm. Don't try to copy the sleeping feats of orcas and dolphins at home, researchers warn. Scientists may someday learn how to help people skimp on sleep. For now, though, people still have to snooze at least 8 hours a night to stay healthy.—N. Moreira

Sleepless at Sea
Sleepless at Sea








Designed and Powered by HBJamaica.com™