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Sleeping octopus changes color as it ‘dreams’

Sleeping octopus changes color as it 'dreams' 1

Image Credit: YouTube / Rebecca Otey

What does an octopus dream about ?

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.”

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Source: Live Science


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