Sunday, 12 August 2012

Why Sleep Deprivation Is Sexy to Sandpipers

The early bird may get the worm, but the sleepless sandpiper gets the chicks.

Male pectoral sandpipers that sleep less than their counterparts during the bird's intense three-week breeding season mate with more females and sire more offspring — and don't appear to be impaired whatsoever by their sleeplessness, according to a study published today (Aug. 9) in the journal Science.

These results are surprising since humans and many other animals handle sleep loss poorly, with decreases in memory, attention and hand-eye coordination, said study co-author John Lesku, a researcher at the University of Western Australia.

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