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July 24, 2023

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

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