Amazing discovery: spiders seem to be dreaming
Let’s start with the last question: whether spiders really dream, it is not yet possible to say right away. It is the first clue. But it is dangerous.
A team of scientists at universities in Germany, Italy and the American Harvard University noticed the so-called jumping spiders. These spiders don’t make webs but they catch their prey – you guessed it – by jumping. They secure themselves using cobwebs.
So these spider species must have very good eyes, and they are. up to four. Middle eyes are a type of telephoto lens. The eyes behind them are useful for identifying distances, shapes, and motions. The eyes are facing forward and reflecting in the dark when light hits them, just as they do in cats.
Scientists have specifically investigated the nocturnal inactivity of these creatures using infrared cameras. They detect “periodic movements” on the retina. At the same time, they saw trembling in the legs.
According to the researchers, these movements are very reminiscent of the movements that we humans and some animals make during REM sleep. REM stands for Rapid Eye Movement, in other words: REM sleep. It is the state in which we humans dream the most beautiful dreams.
Spiders vibrated in a manner similar to the movements of dogs and cats during REM sleep, says Daniela Rossler, a biologist at Germany’s University of Konstanz and lead author of the study. The scientific article on this topic was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). Whether jumping spiders visually dream, as we do, is a different story, she told The Washington Post.
“There are so many wonderful things going on in their brains.”
An expert on the behavior and cognitive abilities of jumping spiders tells the Guardian that it is “not crazy” to think that these spiders can dream. “They are very active during the day. They are constantly on the move and get information all the time.” They don’t just get this information through their eyes. Jumping spiders have small hairs on their bodies that allow them to pick up vibrations. Spiders can hear, too.
“So there are a lot of cool things going on in their brains, and then they climb into their little silky nests at night. They have to process all this information, so it wouldn’t be crazy if they did something like that at night.”
Scientists photographed at night with an infrared camera:
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