By Will Dunham / reuters

A study by researchers in Brazil published on Thursday shows that this animal, already considered perhaps the smartest invertebrate, experiences two major alternating sleep states eerily similar to those in humans – and it even might dream.

The findings, the researchers said, provide fresh evidence that the octopus possesses a complex and sophisticated neurobiology that underlies an equally sophisticated behavioral repertoire, while also offering broader insight into the evolution of sleep, a crucial biological function.

Octopuses previously were known to experience sleep and change colors while slumbering. In the new study, the researchers observed a species called Octopus insularis in a laboratory setting. They found that these color changes are associated with two distinct sleep states: “quiet sleep” and “active sleep.”

During “quiet sleep,” the octopus remains still, with pale skin and eye pupils contracted to a slit. During “active sleep,” it dynamically changes its skin color and texture and moves both eyes while contracting its suckers and body, with muscular twitches.

A repeating cycle was observed during sleep. “Quiet sleep” typically lasted roughly seven minutes. The subsequent “active sleep” typically lasted less than a minute.

CLICK HERE FOR MORE ON REUTERS

close

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here