In our busy world, it's always nice to have a day on the sofa relaxing. But for many animals, every day is a lazy day, with some spending only a few hours awake!
10. Pygmy bluetongue lizard
The pygmy bluetongue lizard is incredibly elusive and was at one point thought to be extinct. Native to Australia, they live in spider burrows and feed on passing insects. They don’t actively catch their prey though, preferring instead to lay in the burrow with their head pointing up toward the entrance waiting for something to fall in. They don’t even leave to drink, relying instead on raindrops and dew that form around the burrow opening. As lazy as their lifestyle may sound though, it’s mostly a form of predator avoidance.
Nothing says lazy like laying your eggs in the nest of other birds, so you don’t have to look after them, and that is precisely what cuckoos do! Rather than taking on the demands of parenthood, they leave their eggs in the nests of other species, such as robins and warblers, leaving them to raise their demanding chicks as their own, a tactic known as brood parasitism.
8. Nurse shark
Given that many shark species need to keep swimming to breathe, you wouldn’t think them lazy, but the nurse shark is a different matter. They don’t migrate like many species and spend most of their time lying motionless on the seabed, an activity made possible by the fact they can actively pump water over their gills. Not needing to eat much to sustain their lifestyle, they spend much of the day sleeping and hunt at night for fish, molluscs and crustaceans. They’re not known for their hunting skills though and feed by sucking up their prey.
7. Giant panda
Giant pandas are well-known for their bumbling and sluggish nature. They sleep for around 10 hours a day, for roughly three hours at a time, and will nap pretty much anywhere. When awake, they spend most of their time eating. Their food of choice, bamboo, is low in nutrients, so they need to consume around 44 lb (20 kg) a day to get what they need. With all that sleeping and eating, it’s no wonder they do little else!
Also known as the spiny anteater, echidnas are very slow moving and sleep for roughly 12 hours a day. They have a low body temperature for a mammal and cannot pant or sweat which means they struggle with warmer temperatures. They are usually more active at night and probably sleep the day away to avoid dealing with the hot Australian sun.
Pythons are slow-moving animals that tend to be fairly inactive. They sleep for up to 18 hours a day normally and tire quickly. When digesting food, which happens once a week when they feed, they sleep more. And, before shedding, which is very energy-demanding, they may sleep for a week to prepare.
Hippos have truly mastered the art of lazing around and sleep for 16 to 20 hours each day. When on land, you’ll often see them basking in the sun and napping together in large groups, but they don’t just sleep on land; they take their naps to the water to and even manage to rise to the surface to breathe while still snoozing. Hippos are herbivorous and do most of their foraging at night. They can spend an impressive five hours at a time just grazing on grass.
Opossums are champion sleepers, getting an impressive 18 to 20 hours of sleep a day. They are incredibly slow-moving, and once they find a place that provides the food and shelter they need, they stay, only opting to move if absolutely necessary.
When people think of the word “lazy”, sloths are often one of the first animals to come to mind, and it’s not surprising. They sleep for up to 20 hours a day and are known for being extremely slow-moving. They live in the tropical rainforests of South America and spend most of their time hanging from tree branches, moving only when necessary. It can take them several hours to do anything, after which they usually rest some more.
Koalas are known for their laziness and sleeping abilities, spending only two to six hours awake every day. Their diet is to blame for their sleepiness though. Eucalyptus leaves contain toxins, are very high in fibre and thus take a lot of energy to digest.