Frigatebirds sleep in mid-flight

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New research shows that frigatebirds can sleep on the wing, with just one or both halves of their brain

When Charles Darwin arrived at the Galápagos Islands in 1839, he had the opportunity to observe the habits of frigatebirds, and marvelled at their graceful flight manoeuvres and their ability to soar up high. “When it sees any object on the surface of the water,” he wrote, “[it] descends from a great height… with the swiftness of an arrow; and at the instant of seizing with its long beak and outstretched neck, the floating morsel, it turns upwards, with extraordinary dexterity, by the aid of its forked tail, and its long, powerful wings.”

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