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I was reading this article and thought it quite interesting. Have a read and let me know what your thoughts about it are
Sleep deprived birds have more chicks
By Nick Crumpton BBC News
The research is published in Science.
Out all nightThe birds studied were pectoral sandpipers (Calidris melanotos), which engage in long migrations between the Southern and Northern hemispheres. In May and June, the shorebirds mate and nest on the barren tundra of Alaska, when the area experiences almost 24 hours of sunlight. During fieldwork near Barrow, director of the Avian Sleep Group at the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology and leader of the study, Prof Bart Kempenaers noticed a peculiar behaviour. “He discovered that these male pectoral sandpipers were being incredibly active throughout the 24-hour period,” co-author Dr Niels Rattenborg told BBC News. “We used a variety of methods to gain insight into what was actually going on up there. What were these sandpipers doing? We put transmitters on their back that could measure when they were moving. So we could record patterns throughout 24 hours, over a period of several weeks,” Dr Rattenborg said. By analysing these data, along with brain activity recordings, the team found that some male pectoral sandpipers were extremely active during the whole day, whereas others were engaging with fewer females, choosing instead to sleep.
You snooze, you loseDr Rattenborg and his colleagues then tested the paternity of the young that were laid on the site. “We collected every egg on the study site, incubated them, hatched them and then got DNA from each of the chicks, so we could tell how many chicks a given male sired. Then we returned the chicks to the mothers out in the field,” Dr Rattenborg said. This paternal data proved that the individuals that were the most active – up to 95% of 24 hours – sired the most young, despite having hardly slept over a period of weeks.
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