17:06 02 March 2017
African elephants get by on a tiny amount of sleep, a research has found.
Using electronic monitoring device to track sleep accurately, researchers monitored two free-roaming African elephant matriarchs at Chobe National Park in Botswana for 35 days. They found that elephants slept an average of two hours a day and on several days, the mammals went without sleep for up to 46 hours.
Study leader Professor Paul Manger, of University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa, said:
‘Studies of sleep in captive elephants have shown that they sleep for four to six hours per day.
‘However, the current study shows that in their natural habitat, wild, free-ranging elephants sleep only for two hours per day, the least amount of sleep of any mammal studied to date, but this appears to be related to their large body size.
‘In addition, it appears that elephants only go into REM, or dreaming, sleep every three to four days, which makes elephant sleep unique.’