A Little Secret about Ducks

April 13th, 2017


Ducks have evolved a skill to stay away from predators that is pretty cool. Everything needs sleep, and if your not a rat or a bird that can easily isolate itself from predators, then your a duck or just a normal land animal that needs a way to not get eaten at night. And ways have obviously evolved for these animals to stay safe over time.

For a duck, that safety comes from sleeping in a group of ducks. When the ducks fall asleep the fall asleep in a group, or a line. Where the middle ducks get a normal nights rest. But for the ducks on the outside, they do something different. The ducks use something called “Unihemispheric slow-wave sleep”. This is where the duck allows half of its brain to sleep, and the other half to stay fully asleep.


The half of the brain that is awake has the full activity of an awake bird, which allows it to sleep with one eye open. Researchers tested this by having four ducks in a tank. And as they rotated the outside ducks with the inside ducks of the line they were able to switch roles. Where the birds on the outside were able to fall fully asleep, and the bird that was on the inside but now on the outside was about to turn half of its brain on to be aware of any approaching predators. When the researches threw a test predator at them, the birds were able to react with in a fifth of a second.

I would like to look more into how animals have evolved to be able to get their sleep and be safe at the same time. Its not a topic that is really noticed, but it really is a really cool thing to look into, thinking about the thousands of years that skill took to develop and evolve, its really quit amazing. I will definitely try to get another blog on a cool sleep technique, and with that I would like to leave of with a #STAYCURIOUS



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