120 kilometres from the Antarctic Peninsula, small King George Island is home to one of the largest populations of chinstrap penguins. Won Young Lee, a marine biologist at the Korea Institute for Polar Research, knows them well. He has been studying their behaviour for a long time. In December 2019, he took Paul-Antoine Libourel, a research engineer and sleep ecophysiologist at the Lyon Neuroscience Research Center, on a rather special expedition. Their goal: to study their sleep, an aspect of the animals' lives that is often overlooked.
For any human being, as with most mammals, it is normal to sleep in increments of several hours. Chinstrap penguins, on the other hand, have rather peculiar sleeping habits: they multiply micro-naps throughout the day. Are they really sleeping? Together with their team, Won Young Lee and Paul-Antoine Libourel report their discovery in the journal Sciences.
11 hours of sleep per day
Birds are known to have...
This article is for subscribers only. You still have 85% to discover.
Want to read more?
Unlock all items immediately.
TEST FOR €0.99
Already a subscriber? Log