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Baby owls sleep like baby humans


PhysOrg

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Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology and the University of Lausanne have discovered that the sleeping patterns of baby birds are similar to that of baby mammals. What is more, the sleep of baby birds appears to change in the same way as it does in humans. Studying barn owls in the wild, the researchers discovered that this change in sleep is strongly correlated with the expression of a gene involved in producing dark, melanic feather spots, a trait known to covary with behavioral and physiological traits in adult owls. These findings raise the intriguing possibility that sleep-related developmental processes in the brain contribute to the link between melanism and other traits observed in adult barn owls and other animals.

 

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