Dolphins maintain awareness for 15 days

Article Summary:

The Public Library of Science ONE (PLOS ONE) journal has published a paper that documents how long dolphins can remain aware. In experiments carried out by the National Marine Mammal Foundation, they were able to maintain vigilance, as measured by their ability to respond to acoustic targets, for 15 days continuously. Dolphins are known for their ability to “rest” one hemisphere of their brain while the other maintains awareness, and the paper suspects that this may allow them to do so in order to remain vigilant and watch out for predators. Previously, this ability was ascribed solely to their need to breathe.