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17 April 2014 12:48 pm ,
Vol. 344 ,
Officials last week revealed that the U.S. contribution to ITER could cost $3.9 billion by 2034—roughly four times the...
An experimental hepatitis B drug that looked safe in animal trials tragically killed five of 15 patients in 1993. Now,...
Using the two high-quality genomes that exist for Neandertals and Denisovans, researchers find clues to gene activity...
A new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concludes that humanity has done little to slow...
Astronomers have discovered an Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone of a red dwarf—a star cooler than the sun—500...
Three years ago, Jennifer Francis of Rutgers University proposed that a warming Arctic was altering the behavior of the...
- 17 April 2014 12:48 pm , Vol. 344 , #6181
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ScienceShot: It Pays to Stay Up All Night
9 August 2012 2:00 pm
Sometimes it pays to pull an all-nighter. Researchers have shown that by sacrificing sleep, male sandpipers (Calidris melanotos) out-compete their rested counterparts for mates. To make the discovery, scientists caught almost all of the males and a few females from a population of sandpipers living on the Arctic tundra. They fitted the animals with brain activity monitors to track their sleep and GPS-like tags to follow how many different females they mated with. During the birds' 3-week breeding period, males stayed awake between 55% and 95% of the time. Those that dozed the least performed more courtship displays, such as dancing, for females. They were also more likely to sire offspring. Males that got almost no sleep fathered at least eight baby sandpipers, while those that slept for up to 55% of the time were lucky to father one, the team reports online today in Science. The researchers suspect that a genetic trait may make some males more able to forgo sleep than others, and this trait might be one that females look for in a good mate. Regardless of the reason, the early bird may get the worm, but the one that stays up all night gets all the action.
See more ScienceShots.