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We could not have asked for a more relevant and scientific location for this historic summit. Our schedule also allowed us to socialize with our colleagues and their families while learning about Galapagos’ interesting wildlife and fauna and how this far-off ecosystem shaped the world and changed the scientific community in a way that was unimaginable when Charles Darwin first visited it (Picture 3). Picture 3. A group picture at the main entrance of the GAIAS main building. This was not the authors’ first foray in this exotic land. However, we did learn many new facts. For example, we gained new and groundbreaking information about how frigate birds live and navigate (Picture 4). Darwin and others observed that frigate birds do not rest on the water despite spending weeks to months flying over the ocean. Their long wings, poorly webbed feet and reduced feather waterproofing make taking off difficult following more than momentary contact with the salty water. Therefore, to catch food, great frigate birds rely on large predatory fish and cetaceans to drive prey both during the day and night. Consequently, frigate birds face ecological demands for wakefulness 24/7 while over the ocean. An international scientific collaboration made up of investigators from Germany, Italy, Switzerland, South Africa, USA and Ecuador recorded the brain activity of frigate birds flying over the ocean (Rattenborg NC et al, Nature Communication, 2016). By using electroencephalogram recordings of great frigate birds (Fregata minor) flying over the ocean for up to 10 days, they demonstrated that these birds can sleep with either one hemisphere at a time or both hemispheres simultaneously. Also, unexpectedly, frigate birds sleep for only 0.69 h/ day (7.4 percent of the time spent sleeping on land), indicating that ecological demands for attention usually exceed the attention afforded by sleeping Picture 4. A great female frigate bird perched on a tree branch near Punta Carola beach. 13


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