• Costa Rica Real Estate

Crocodiles sleep with one eye open

October 26, 2015

Chuck Norris doesn’t sleep, he waits. So, it seems, do crocodiles.

According to a new study published this month in the Journal of Experimental Biology, crocodiles sleep with one eye open, leaving the other to watch for prey and threats.

Researchers from La Trobe University in Australia used infrared cameras to monitor crocodiles day and night at an aquarium. When a sleeping croc was in the presence of a human or another crocodile, its open eye would follow the potential threat, leading scientists to believe that the crocodile’s entire brain was not asleep.

Scientists believe the crocodiles are practicing what is known as “unhemispheric sleep,” where only one side of the brain shuts down during sleep. Similar behavior has been observed in cetaceans and birds.

Though what scientists see is consistent with unhemispheric sleep, they would need to monitor a croc’s brainwaves to make a conclusive determination. This would involve placing electrodes onto crocodiles’ skulls, not the easiest of experiments.

If crocodiles do indeed only shut off part of their brains for sleep, it suggests that the complete sleep of humans and other terrestrial mammals may be unusual, even unique, in the animal kingdom.

Facebook Comments

You may be interested

Slothy Sunday: Free real estate within claws’ reach
Sloth Sundays
40 views
Sloth Sundays
40 views

Slothy Sunday: Free real estate within claws’ reach

Andrés Sáenz Bräutigam / Veterinary Medicine Student - August 25, 2019

Life in the rainforest isn't easy. Animals, plants and even fungi compete daily for resources, food, water, and housing. But,…

Costa Rica celebrates National Parks Day
Environment and Wildlife
3794 views
Environment and Wildlife
3794 views

Costa Rica celebrates National Parks Day

The Tico Times - August 24, 2019

Entry to all Costa Rican national parks is free today for National Parks Day. The holiday, celebrated every Aug. 24…

Cat’s out of the bag: Feline evades eight prison guards
Costa Rica
78 views
Costa Rica
78 views

Cat’s out of the bag: Feline evades eight prison guards

Alejandro Zúñiga - August 23, 2019

At The Tico Times, we don't usually report on everyday crime, but this story is too purr-fect to ignore. According…

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!