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Brain tracker finds birds sleep during flight

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The naps happen in short episodes of about 12 seconds each, usually using only one half of their brain but sometimes using both.

A team from Germany has found great frigatebirds sleep mid-flight after fitting them with small brain activity monitors and movement trackers.

The red-breasted birds can fly continuously for up to two months, without landing to take a nap.

Now scientists have found that they actually sleep for an average of 41 minutes per day – even though they are in flight – after monitoring 14 of the birds.

The naps happen in short episodes of about 12 seconds each, usually using only one half of their brain but sometimes using both.

Niels Rattenborg, from the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology in Germany, said: “Some people thought that all their sleep would have to be unihemispheric otherwise they would drop from the sky.

“But that’s not the case – they can sleep with both hemispheres and they just continue soaring.”

Bottlenose dolphins

Image Caption:Dolphins and mallard ducks also sleep using one half of their brains

The short sleeps usually took place while the birds are circling in rising air currents, meaning they do not need to flap their wings.

The brain hemisphere connected to the eye facing the direction of the turn was more likely to stay awake, but not always.

Dr Rattenborg told the New Scientist: “This may be to avoid collisions with other birds that are sleeping in the same air mass.

“For me, that was interesting because it’s similar to what we have shown in mallard ducks. When they’re sleeping in a group, the ones on the edge will keep one eye open that’s facing outwards.”

The birds’ ability to survive on such small amounts of sleep is likely to be studied further, given how badly sleep deprivation affects other species.

Dr Rattenborg added: “If we can determine how they’re able to manage on such little sleep, that might inform our understanding of the consequences of sleep loss in humans and other animals.”

The birds are unable to bob in the ocean because they do not have waterproof feathers, so their sleep abilities may have evolved out of necessity.

By contrast, the birds usually slept for more than 12 hours per day on land.

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Nature

29 DEAD, 199 people still missing in California wildfire outbreak

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three massive wildfires are burning across the state of California and hundreds of people have evacuated. 29 people are dead says the officials.



The fire have been described the most deadest in the states’s history. the fire are being blamed on a combination of climax change and weather conditions

fire officials said, it has burned more than 111,000 acres (45,000 hectares) and is nearly 25% contained,

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Governor Brown have reacted, saying it not a new normal, this is the new abnormal

the fire have claim properties and homes of celebrities in the region, among those to lose there homes are Neil young, Gerard Butler, Miley Cyrus, Woolsey blaze and Robin Thicke.

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Musician Neil Young made the same link, writing on his website: “I have lost my home before to a California wildfire, now another.” However, praised the bravery of the firefighters and volunteers for risking their lives to stop the fire from burning down their homes.

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the massacre have left some bodies missing and unidentified with some of the bodies recovered burned beyond recognition.

”In some cases, the only remains we are able to recover are bones or bone fragments,” Honea, the Butte County sheriff and coroner, told reporters. “I know that members of the community who are missing loved ones are anxious, and I know that the news of us recovering bodies has to be disconcerting.”

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1,000-metre Spiders- wed cloak Greek lake.

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Lake Vistonida in northern Greece has become an arachnophobe’s worst nightmare after it was cloaked recently by massive webs spun by hundreds of thousands of small spiders.



Biologists say the recent phenomenon, though rare, is not unheard of and is caused by unseasonally warm weather prompting an increase in the local population of mosquitoes and gnats.


“It’s caused by an overpopulation of spiders…there is an abundance of food available,” local environmental park biologist Euterpe Patetsini told Newsmen.

Draped over roadside bushes, fences and small trees, the webs have a combined length of about 1,000 metres.

“Weather conditions are ideal for them to multiply,” she said.

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The spiders are from the genus Tetragnatha, known as stretch spiders due to their elongated bodies. They are known to build webs near watery habitats, with some species even said to be able to walk on water.

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A similar case was noted in the western Greek coastal town of Aetoliko last month.

The webs are expected to recede as temperatures drop and heavier rainfall sets in.

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