Have you ever noticed how canaries or pigeons sleep, or any other bird? Have you ever seen a horse or a giraffe sleep? Surely, you have noticed that they do it standing or standing and in the case of birds, sometimes, with only one leg. Why and how do they do it? Do they rest well that way? How many hours do they sleep? These and many more are the main questions that come to mind when thinking about these animals and their habits.
Why are there animals that sleep standing up?
Many people wonder why horses sleep standing up , just as it happens in the cases of other animals, because if we look at the whole of nature, elephants , donkeys , cows sleep standing up and many others. In addition, those who pay attention to this curiosity will also have noticed that there are those who rest on one leg. So why do storks sleep on one leg ? And the flamingos?
Although it may seem unthinkable to us because we cannot rest well like this, these animals really find that resting standing or standing offers them certain advantages that they would not otherwise have. The reason there are animals that sleep on their feet is survival. If we look closely, they are all animals that can be prey to many different types of predators. So, because they have the facility to flee if a predator or other types of threats appear, they prefer to doze standing up to lie on the ground to sleep. In addition, it does not cost them any effort.
It should also be borne in mind that not only do they sleep standing up , there are also situations in which all of them rest on the ground more comfortably, but this rarely happens in many of the species.
The way in which they manage to stay upright while they sleep and do not fall is something that can generate a lot of intrigue, because if we try we will soon lose our balance. The answer is that there are different ways in which they achieve it, since there are species that do it in one way and others that in another totally different way.
For example, small or passerine birds, such as pigeons and canaries , have an automatic system thanks to a flexor tendon that goes in front of the knee and then goes behind the ankle to finally go through the entire claw. In this way, when these birds perch on a branch, this tendon flexes and closes the claws in a fixed way, like a clamp, and tightens the legs, although, of course, it is a mechanism that they can relax at any time to fly away. . In addition, there are other types of birds, such as ducks, that have a highly developed balance .
On the other hand, horses and other large mammals have a locking system in their leg joints . They have tendons and ligaments that allow them to stand still for a long time with little effort from the muscles. In addition, they tend to distribute the weight, always leaving one of the legs free of it, supporting the tip of a hoof or hoof.
Regarding animals that sleep on one leg , such as flamingos and ducks , they usually have one of the two methods discussed at the beginning or a combination of both. The reason why they rest on one leg and not on both is that in this way they store heat better .
List of animals that sleep standing up
What animals sleep standing up? This is a list of some of the animals that sleep upright:
Mammals that sleep standing up
Birds that sleep standing up
At this point, we must mention the strange case of small parrots called Loriculus or Loriculus , among which there are 14 different species. These psittacidae birds or of the parrot family, are small, do not exceed 15 cm in any of the species, and live in Asia. The strangest thing about these parrots is their way of sleeping, which is not standing up, but they sleep upside down and, therefore, they are known as bat parrots . Indeed, they also use the blocking technique thanks to the flexor tendon of the claws to support themselves.
These animals do not sleep as many hours at a time as we do, since they are mostly prey and must always have an alert instinct for survival. For this reason, most only need to sleep a few hours a day and distribute them at different times throughout the day and night, never at once.
For example, animals such as giraffes or horses sleep about 4 or 5 hours a day at different times throughout the day. They can take intervals of between 2 and 5 minutes and have enough rest to be alert, ready to flee. Still, the times they sleep lying on the floor because they feel more secure, they sleep much longer.