|Title||Behavioral aspects of sleep in bottlenose dolphin mothers and their calves|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2007|
|Authors||Lyamin, OI , Pryaslova JP , Kosenko PO , Siegel JM |
|Journal||Physiology and Behavior|
|Keywords||Bottlenose dolphin , Calf , Cetaceans , EEG , Postpartum behavior , Rest , sleep |
Adult dolphins are capable of sleeping with one eye open and exhibiting slow wave activity in the electroencephalogram (EEG) of one hemisphere at a time. The aim of this study was to examine the postpartum sleep behavior of bottlenose dolphin calves and their mothers. The behavior of three dolphin mother–calf pairs was monitored from birth to 13 months postpartum. Dolphin mothers and their calves exhibited a complete disappearance of rest at the surface for a minimum of 2 months postpartum, swimming in echelon formation on average in 97–100% of the observation time. Calves surfaced to breathe more often than their mothers between the postpartum age of 2 and 8 weeks. During the first postpartum month two dolphin mothers surfaced with both eyes open on average in 93 and 98% of the time while in their calves both eyes were open in 90 and 60% of the cases. In calves, the eye directed toward the mother was open more often (on average in 95% of all observations in calf 1 and 99% in calf 2) than the eye directed to the opposite side (82% in calf 1 and 60% in calf 2). Our data indicate that dolphin mothers and calves are highly active and vigilant during the initial period of the calf's life, continuously monitoring their position relative to each other by sight during wakefulness and sleep. We hypothesize that episodes of EEG slow wave activity at this time are likely to be brief, fragmenting EEG defined sleep into short episodes. © 2007 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.