An Elephant Never Forgets…to Be Awake

They say an elephant never forgets. But a more accurate adage would be that an elephant never sleeps—or, hardly ever. Tracking two wild elephant matriarchs for a month revealed that they averaged only a couple of hours a night. On some nights they surprised researchers by never going to sleep at all. This might make them the most wakeful mammals in the world.

The sleeping habits of large mammals are a “contentious” subject, says Paul Manger, a professor at the University of the Witwatersr

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