How do they do this?


In an article about sleep in last weeks New Scientist, research is described that “has shown that during the long periods fur seals spend at sea hunting, they sleep like dolphins, one hemisphere at a time, and their REM levels plummet.” OKAHYYYY, so let me get this straight…

1) Someone decided that it would be a good idea to research sleep of fur seals
2) They found a way to track and follow them
3) And then the conversation went a bit like this:

Scientist – “Excuse me, but are you sleeping with one half of your brain now?”
Seal – “Nope.”

Pause

Scientist – “Excuse me, but are you sleeping with one half of your brain yet?”
Seal – “Nope.”

Long pause

Scientist – “Err, sleeping?”
Seal – “Not yet.”

Boat follows seal for several days.

Scientist – “Hi, are you sleeping with one half of your brain yet?”
Seal – “Bug off feller! Can’t you see I’m busy?”

Some hours later.

Seal – “You still here?”
Scientist – “Yes, you see I really want to know how you guys sleep when you’re at sea.”
Seal – “Good news!”
Scientist – “Yes?”
Seal – “I might be sleeping now…”
Scientist – “Fantastic! Which side of your brain is sleeping?”
Seal – “No idea buddy! You’re the scientist, go figure.”

I cannot begin to comprehend how this research was conducted, but I guess that’s why we have clever people called scientists to do this stuff.

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