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Compared to other primates, humans get little sleep

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anthropology     The study of humankind. A social scientist who studies different societies and cultures is called an anthropologist.

average     (in science) A term for the arithmetic mean, which is the sum of a group of numbers that is then divided by the size of the group.

baboon     A large ground-dwelling African monkey with a long, doglike snout and large teeth. Baboons are social animals and live in troops.

behavior     The way something, often a person or other organism, acts towards others, or conducts itself.

biology     The study of living things. The scientists who study them are known as biologists.

common marmoset     A small brown, gray and yellow monkey that lives in the rainforests of Brazil. They have specialized teeth and digestive organs that allow them to eat gum from trees.

data     Facts and/or statistics collected together for analysis but not necessarily organized in a way that gives them meaning. For digital information (the type stored by computers), those data typically are numbers stored in a binary code, portrayed as strings of zeros and ones.

database     An organized collection of related data.

electrode     A device that conducts electricity and is used to make contact with non-metal part of an electrical circuit, or that contacts something through which an electrical signal moves. (in electronics) Part of a semiconductor device (such as a transistor) that either releases or collects electrons or holes, or that can control their movement.

environment     The sum of all of the things that exist around some organism or the process and the condition those things create. Environment may refer to the weather and ecosystem in which some animal lives, or, perhaps, the temperature and humidity (or even the placement of components in some electronics system or product).

evolutionary     An adjective that refers to changes that occur within a species over time as it adapts to its environment. Such evolutionary changes usually reflect genetic variation and natural selection, which leave a new type of organism better suited for its environment than its ancestors. The newer type is not necessarily more “advanced,” just better adapted to the conditions in which it developed.

evolutionary biologist     Someone who studies the adaptive processes that have led to the diversity of life on Earth. These scientists can study many different subjects, including the microbiology and genetics of living organisms, how species change to adapt, and the fossil record (to assess how various ancient species are related to each other and to modern-day relatives).

factor     Something that plays a role in a particular condition or event; a contributor.

habitat     The area or natural environment in which an animal or plant normally lives, such as a desert, coral reef or freshwater lake. A habitat can be home to thousands of different species.

journal     (in science) A publication in which scientists share their research findings with experts (and sometimes even the public). Some journals publish papers from all fields of science, technology, engineering and math, while others are specific to a single subject. The best journals are peer-reviewed: They send all submitted articles to outside experts to be read and critiqued. The goal, here, is to prevent the publication of mistakes, fraud or sloppy work.

link     A connection between two people or things.

nocturnal     An adjective for something that is done, occurring or active at night.

online     (n.) On the internet. (adj.) A term for what can be found or accessed on the internet.

physical anthropology      The type of anthropology, or study of humankind, that deals with how humans have gradually changed over time. It includes how their look or structures might have varied.

predator     (adjective: predatory) A creature that preys on other animals for most or all of its food.

primate     The order of mammals that includes humans, apes, monkeys and related animals (such as tarsiers, the Daubentonia and other lemurs).

REM sleep     A period of sleep that takes its name for the rapid eye movement , or REM, that occurs. People dream during REM sleep, but their bodies can’t move. In non-REM sleep, breathing and brain activity slow, but people can still move about.

social     (adj.) Relating to gatherings of people; a term for animals (or people) that prefer to exist in groups. (noun) A gathering of people, for instance those who belong to a club or other organization, for the purpose of enjoying each other’s company.

species     A group of similar organisms capable of producing offspring that can survive and reproduce.

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