Don't just stand there, fall asleep
August 12, 2012 4:24 PM Subscribe
Researchers sneak up on sleeping sperm whales
posted by spitbull (44 comments total)
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(.mpg video, hosted by Current Biology.
Matt Kaplan, writing in Nature
a 2008 article in Current Biology
"An accidental encounter with a pod of sleeping sperm whales has opened researchers’ eyes to some unknown sleep behaviours of these giant sea creatures . . . A team led by Luke Rendell at the University of St Andrew’s, UK, were monitoring calls and behaviour in sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) off the northern Chile coast when they accidentally drifted into the middle of a pod of whales hanging vertically in the water, their noses poking out of the surface. At least two of the whales were facing the boat, but not a single animal responded."
And there is this extraordinary photo
of this phenomenon (not the same encounter, but it's a beautiful photo, by Magnus Lundgren for Wild Wonders of Europe
"Stereotypical resting behavior of the sperm whale,"
by Patrick J.O. Miller, , Kagari Aoki, Luke E. Rendell, and Masao Amano. (Current Biology
, Vol. 18/1, Jan. 2008.).
Alternate .mov version of video (appears to have no sound) on Nature's site.