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The octopus can change color during sleep, most likely this is the effect of the dream on the animal’s body.
At the Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte, neuroscientist Sidarta Ribeiro and colleagues found that octopus sleep is also divided into active and passive phases. After days of monitoring four common wild octopus species (scientifically known as Octopus vulgaris), the team obtained more than 180 hours of video data and reached remarkable conclusions. .
According to Mr. Ribeiro, octopus spend about half of their daytime time sleeping. “In a restful sleep, they lie motionless for a long time – very quiet, with their eyes closed – they breathe very steadily and quietly.“.
What is this octopus dreaming of?
Every 30-40 minutes, this passive sleep is interrupted by a short period of active sleep lasting 1-2 minutes. During this time, the octopus’s body changes color and texture. The octopus’s eyes and tentacles are in motion, and the absorption senses are constantly shrinking. “Obviously this is a very active sleep phase“, Said Mr. Ribeiro.
The team tested whether the octopus actually slept by playing a crab-related video – the octopus’s favorite meal. “When we stimulate an animal with sight or with vibrations, it does not react”, Says neuroscientist Ribeiro, adding that this is in stark contrast to the octopus’s behavior while awake. “If they have a real dream, they have dreamed for up to a minute“.
This active sleep period of octopus is short but clearly delineated with passive sleep; During the dream, octopus skin darkens and they move slightly. “In about 40 seconds, they suddenly change color and body surface structure. The octopus’s eyes moved“, Sylvia Medeiros, a graduate student participating in research, told reporters. The octopus’s strange action takes place every 30-40 minutes.
According to Medeiros, octopus dreams (if any) will not be too complicated or have any implications, because the active sleep phase is very short. Octopus is capable of solving problems like many other species including primates, maybe dreams help octopus improve brain ability and better cope with conundrums.
Carrie Albertin, an octopus researcher at the Laboratory of Marine Biology located in Massachusetts, said: octopus often lie dormant in their nests, they often sleep and may even dream.
“I think when you look at these animals, it’s hard to deny that something is going on, but it’s important to identify them, conduct research so that scientists can feces. clearly define the concepts“, Ms. Albertin commented. “That is what it is [nhóm nghiên cứu Brazil] can do“.
She thinks the newly published research is the first solid step in clearly defining each stage of an octopus’s sleep.
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