Like us humans, most animals need their regular sleep. The way they sleep, on the other hand, varies from one species to the next. Some animals, for example, hibernate in the winter while others do not. Many animals, including dogs, cats, and humans, sleep on their stomachs. Birds and fur seals, for example, can put half of their brain to sleep while the other keeps them flying or floating. There are even animals that are capable of sleeping while standing. Let’s check out which animals have a leg-up on the sleeping competition!
Flamingos, like horses, can sleep while standing on one leg thanks to a stay device in their bodies. The muscles and ligaments in one leg can lock into place and keep them upright without much effort thanks to this fascinating ability.
Why one leg? It’s an energy-saving mechanism! Their eyes close and they sway less when they sleep, so you can tell they’re sleeping.
Giraffes may be the Serengeti’s strangest sleepers. They lay down as babies with their legs tucked beneath their bodies and their heads resting on their own backs.
Adult giraffes, on the other hand, will sleep like this on occasion, but they prefer to sleep fully standing—albeit in short bursts. They’ll frequently go into a half-sleep state while fully standing, with their eyes half-open and their bodies fully upright.
Zebras are a cousin of horses (who also sleep standing up), and they, too, sleep standing up, though for a different reason than horses. A typical plains zebra will sleep whenever it can, but they will only do so in large groups so that they can be alerted to danger.
They can pack closer to one another and flee from danger more quickly by standing up. An animal’s ability to sleep upright evolved for a variety of reasons. The ability to flee from predators, such as hoofed mammals, is the most common. Others, like the Flamingo, do it to avoid contact with caustic surfaces.