Dolphins Can't Sleep Because of Annoying Tourists

Animals sleep during day; hunt at night
By Dustin Lushing,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 2, 2012 2:25 PM CDT
Dolphins Can't Sleep Because of Annoying Tourists
Hawaiian tourists are dangerously disrupting dolphins' sleep schedules.   (Shutterstock)

Dolphins in Hawaii are losing sleep over annoying tourists: A local species known as spinner dolphins likes to slumber during the day and feed at night. But kayaking tourists, eager to view the dolphins' skillful acrobatics, are harassing the marine animals during daylight hours, leaving them tired and cranky, reports LiveScience. Chronic sleeplessness in dolphins disrupts their ability to eat, communicate, and avoid predators.

"Sleep is essential for most animals," says a marine scientist. "When deprived of their necessary 'zzzzs,' they gradually show a decreased ability to process information and remain attentive to environmental stimuli." A group of researchers has issued special maps, factoring in ideal snooze locations for dolphins, to protect the dolphins' privacy while still allowing for some tourist interaction. (More dolphins stories.)

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