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Sleeping octopus changes color as it 'dreams'


Posted on Tuesday, 12 March, 2019 | Comment icon 23 comments

What does an octopus dream about ? Image Credit: YouTube / Rebecca Otey
Intriguing footage of a sleeping octopus has suggested that cephalopods may have some concept of dreaming.
Recorded at Butterfly Pavilion - a nonprofit invertebrate zoo in Westminster, Colorado - the video (which can be viewed below) shows a snoozing octopus changing its coloration from light to dark.

What's interesting about this is that it opens up the possibility that cephalopods, like many animal species, may experience dreams during certain stages of sleep.

The changes in color and texture may be a response to something the animal is dreaming about.

Typically an octopus will shift its appearance to help it camouflage against its surroundings, usually either to protect itself against a threat or to stay hidden from prey.

But do cephalopods actually dream when they sleep ? The answer is that we simply don't know.

"It's been hypothesized that octopus species can exhibit something very similar to REM cycles in humans," said aquarist Sara Stevens.

"But the jury's still out on whether they're achieving REM sleep."


Source: Live Science | Comments (23)

Tags: Octopus, Dreaming, Sleeping

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #14 Posted by Mantis914 on 12 March, 2019, 21:14
Hatopus!  Wow, why does it feel like it was a century ago that we all kept that one thread going with making up something from the poster above?
Comment icon #15 Posted by third_eye on 12 March, 2019, 21:21
Maybe poor little Octo was just feeling a little cold on the tips of the tentacles ... ~
Comment icon #16 Posted by Hawken on 12 March, 2019, 22:30
I think dogs dream. My dog would be sleeping on the couch and she would start wagging her tail as if she was having a pleasant experience.
Comment icon #17 Posted by Impedancer on 12 March, 2019, 22:33
Does it dream of electronic sheep
Comment icon #18 Posted by third_eye on 12 March, 2019, 23:38
IN all honesty, this being a 'concept' of dreaming is rather an unfortunate turn of a phrase, I would have less concerns if it was presented as a 'capacity' for dreaming ~
Comment icon #19 Posted by the13bats on 13 March, 2019, 10:08
     SAL-9000 : Will I dream?     Dr. Chandra : Of course you will. All intelligent beings dream. Nobody knows why. Perhaps you will dream of HAL... just as I often do.       
Comment icon #20 Posted by Nnicolette on 13 March, 2019, 20:42
I think dreaming is likely part of the process of sleep and restoring your body. I am willing to bet pretty much anything with a brain and a sleep mechanism dreams. It is pretty obvious when you see other animals dream... Kind of silly to think they don't. As silly as these sentience studies when they catch an animal in distress over a relatives death or something. Duh. How could you even think only people have feelings when we are practically all equipped with the same kind of nervous  and input systems, eyes, ears, brains, stomachs etc its easier to spot the similarities than differences. 
Comment icon #21 Posted by TripGun on 14 March, 2019, 18:11
You should see my dog having night terrors
Comment icon #22 Posted by the13bats on 18 March, 2019, 4:34
While i do believe animals dream i am highly skeptical they mourn like humans, mouring is a human construct, animals do not ponder or know what death is they might in the moment know someone is gone but they dont comprehend the person died and what that is, when you leave for work etc your pet doesnt ponder where you went and will you be back.
Comment icon #23 Posted by Raptor Witness on 25 March, 2019, 1:26
Both of my chi's dream that they are doing all kinds of things.  It's hilarious to watch. 


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