2-month-old northern elephant seals sleep on beach at Año Nuevo State Park
Two-month-old northern elephant seals sleep on the beach at Año Nuevo State Park. Researchers recorded the brain activity of free-ranging elephant seals for the first time, revealing that while they may spend 10 hours a day sleeping on the beach during breeding season, they average just two hours of sleep per day when they are at sea on months-long foraging trips.
[Research supported by U.S. National Science Foundation grant IOS 1656282 and an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship.]
Learn more in the NSF Research News story Elephant seals drift off to sleep while diving far below the ocean surface. (Date of image: Unknown; date originally posted to NSF Multimedia Gallery: July 21, 2023)
Credit: Jessica Kendall-Bar, NMFS 23188
Images and other media in the National Science Foundation Multimedia Gallery are available for use in print and electronic material by NSF employees, members of the media, university staff, teachers and the general public. All media in the gallery are intended for personal, educational and nonprofit/non-commercial use only.
Images credited to the National Science Foundation, a federal agency, are in the public domain. The images were created by employees of the United States Government as part of their official duties or prepared by contractors as "works for hire" for NSF. You may freely use NSF-credited images and, at your discretion, credit NSF with a "Courtesy: National Science Foundation" notation.
Additional information about general usage can be found in Conditions.
Download the high-resolution JPG version of the image. (1.6 MB)
Use your mouse to right-click (Mac users may need to Ctrl-click) the link above and choose the option that will save the file or target to your computer.