The animal kingdom is certainly populated by all creatures great and small but some of them are just plain weird when it comes to getting some shut-eye!
- Giraffes - These gentle giants snatch about 5 minutes at a time and in an entire day, only get about 30 minutes' kip. No wonder they look so drowsy all the time! Life's tough in the jungle when predators are on the prowl.
- Meerkats - Naww, who can resist a meerkat? Those innocent, inquisitive eyes and their funny little stances. When they sleep, they cuddle together for warmth and security, and the alphas keep to the middle for the ultimate protection.
- Walruses - Sleep in the water, sleep on land ... life is about choice for these bearded, tusked critters. When they're at sea, they keep their heads on the surface and sometimes even use their tusks to hang from icy outcrops.
- Horses - Yep, they do sleep standing up but only when a light nap is needed. When they need to really get into a deep slumber, they do lie down.
- Bees - There's a reason why we call our honey-gatherers 'busy bees'. These little superheroes try to get in about five to eight hours a day, usually at night when it's too dark outside to gather pollen and nectar (and the flowers are closed for business anyway). And, if they don't get enough sleep, they can't communicate as effectively which makes the whole hive a little cranky.
- Dolphins - Clever as they are, dolphins have the capacity to send just half of their brains to sleep while the other half stays awake and alert. Scientists measured their brain waves to determine that even though they were moving around, the patterns could be likened to sleeping brains.
- Sea otters - These cuties lie on their backs to sleep on the water's surface so they can be on the lookout for predators. Sometimes - cute alert - they hold hands so they can sleep without floating away from each other!
Lazybones animals that sleep a lot!
Wouldn't we all love the life of a brown bat? Those things get nearly 20 hours' sleep a day! Next, at 18 hours are the giant armadillo, the python and the North American opossum. Look a bit closer to home and you'll notice your cat lazes around for much of the day. It's not uncommon for house cats to luxuriate in around 15 hours of snooze time a day. Dogs enjoy about 14 hours.
Let's not forget the lucky bears who can hibernate throughout the winter months. They literally do nothing but sleep - no eating, drinking, exercising or eliminating. You can bet they're ravenous when they wake up!
Animals that sleep very little
Some shark species have to swim relentlessly to stay alive but others, like nurse sharks have gills that allow for water to flow across them so they can stay still. Sharks really just have active and less active periods.