Nature & Environment
New evidence suggests that even spiders have dreams
By T.K. Randall
August 9, 2022 · 5 comments
What do spiders dream about ? Image Credit: Daniela C. Robler
A behavioral ecologist has made a fascinating discovery that could challenge what we know of arachnids.
When Daniela Robler conducted an experiment in her home which involved keeping and observing jumping spiders in clear plastic boxes on her windowsill, she couldn't have imagined what she'd find.
She had become suspicious that something interesting was going on when she went to check on them one evening only to find the spiders suspended motionless beneath the lids of their boxes.
"I had no idea what happened," she said. "I thought they were dead."
It soon became apparent, however, that the arachnids were simply sleeping, so she set up a camera to watch them all night long and that's when the magic happened.
In the recordings, the spiders could be seen twitching during brief periods of time.
"They were just uncontrollably twitching in a way that really looked a lot like when dogs or cats dream and have their little REM phases," said Robler.
What she had discovered was that spiders, too, seem to experience periods of REM sleep and could in fact be capable of experiencing dreams in much the same way as other animals do.
"It wouldn't surprise me at all if [jumping spiders] have dreams," said behavioral ecologist Lisa Taylor.
"They live in such a rich sensory world, and we know they have amazing cognitive capabilities and memory."
Source: Scientific American
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