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Sleeping origin?[D[D

Douglas Fitts dfitts at u.washington.edu
Sun Jul 30 06:03:07 EST 1995

bill at nsma.arizona.edu (Bill Skaggs) writes:

>Yes, this is known as the "radiator hypothesis".  It was presented in
>a Behavioral and Brain Sciences article a little while back, together
>with assorted critical review.

>As for my own opinion, it seems to me that Mother Nature could have
>worked out a better way of cooling off the brain, something that
>wouldn't turn animals into inert blobs and leave them at the mercy of
>any predator that happens to wander along.

If you fell asleep at the water hole you probably wouldn't pass on your
genes. If you hid and built a nest, maybe you would.  I haven't heard many
really appealing theories of sleep, but it seems to be metabolically
efficient -- shutting down arousal/activity for hours a day can reduce
energy demands, hence the number of hours necessarily spent
foraging/hunting.  Probably also reduce water demands.  If this time was 
spent in a nest, hole, quietly perched on a twig, or standing up in the 
middle of a herd, it might also *reduce* predation risk, no?



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