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Study reveals how animals actually relax when they are not busy being adorable

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Image via pxhere

Recently, scientists have found the way animals rest is determined by its size.

Be it sprawled out on its belly, reclining on its back, standing up or sitting down — animals taking a break from being animals is pretty darn cute.

Published in the Journal of Mammalogy, scientists have agreed how rest is important either for “physical recuperation” or for the central nervous system.

But why exactly do animals rest in the way they do?

Previous hypotheses allege that both the shape and the location of the animal’s digestive system influence the position in which they relax.

Image via pxhere

The team that is behind the newest discovery found that there was in fact, more to the story.

The researchers observed 253 animals lazily enjoying their days in both Germany and Switzerland during the morning, afternoon, and evening.

They were able to record the animals sitting, standing, lounging on their backs as well as flopping on their sides and lying on their bellies.

Image via Wikimedia Commons

They also compared differences in resting positions to the animals’ digestive types as well as mass.

So what did they find?

Kangaroos always rested on their sides while Peccaries (a pig-like mammal) never laid on their sides.

Hippos would occasionally slouch on their sides but they would much rather lie belly-down.

Ruminants – or animals that ferment food in one stomach before digesting it in another – almost never laid on their sides.

Image via Wikimedia Commons

This was due to them needing to position their digestive tracts properly.

Elephants did not lie down during the day but slept on their sides at night while Warthogs relaxed while sitting.



The researchers were also able to notice a pattern — larger species typically spent more time standing while resting and smaller species spent more time sitting while resting.

And when it comes to larger animals, they were more likely to lean on their sides when they did lie down.

Long-story-short, digestion has a lot to do with how animals take a breather.

Speaking of taking a breather —- did you know some animals catch zzz’s sleeping upside down?

Image via flickr

Bats are of those creatures, sleeping in this peculiar position to keep far away from prey as well as be able to fly off in only a moments notice.

Their talons also help to keep them securely in place.

Sea Otters are another type of animals that sleeps in an odd position — floating on their backs to be exact.

This position helps the otter stay away from land-based prey, while wrapping themselves in seaweed helps them from drifting away with the currents.

Image via Wikimedia Commons

Sometimes, up to 100 otters can be sleeping together — as they link each other’s hands to keep each otter close. This is called an “otter raft.”

But one of the most bizarre animal sleepers of all?

The giraffe — who only snoozes five minutes at one time and as little as 30 minutes a day.

While the giraffe is a large animal, being stuck in the middle of a plain does not help when it comes to potential threats so the giraffe sleeps in short intervals.

Image via pexels

And you thought you had it bad when you reached for your snooze button!

Click here for more snoozin’ animal facts.

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