For all of the content on social media of animals in the wild doing adorable tasks (Those foxes are hugging! That ostrich is dancing!), it’s understandable if one were to forget for a moment that nature itself can be a harsh beast. It’s why creatures of all shapes and sizes have developed sleep routines that are based not around comfort, but pure survival of the fittest thinking.
It’s why giraffes manage to function on only 20-30 minutes of sleep daily. Having to worry about lions, hyenas and leopards all wanting to snack on you can make any long nap the last one a giraffe might take. Albatrosses, despite having a claim to fame for their Monty Python connection (Albatross! Albatross!) essentially live their life in the air, relying on the wonders of something called dynamic soaring that allows them to ride wind currents for days at a time and catch some mid-flight shuteye while they’re at it.
Then there’s toads and frogs – slightly slimy critters that often spend their winters, for all intents and purposes, dead. Although different species of these amphibians have their own hibernation regiment, land-based frogs freeze -literally- during the winter months. Glucose acts as a life-giving fuel that keeps a dormant frog alive while its major internal organs like the heart and lungs take a break. Wouldn’t it just be easier to head to Florida when the cold weather hits?
Story by Jay Moon
- The Albatross-The Master of Dynamic Soaring
- The Amazing Albatrosses
- 15 Amazing Sleeping Habits of Animals
- Animals’ extraordinary sleeping strategies
- How do animals sleep?
- How do frogs survive winter? Why don’t they freeze to death?