New Study Suggests Spiders Dream

In a new study, researchers from the University of Konstanz in Germany discovered that spiders, specifically the jumping spider species Evarcha arcuata, experience moments of rapidly shifting eye movement while they sleep—a sign that indicates they may be dreaming. These twitches are similar to that of other animals who experience REM sleep, the phase in slumber in which dreaming occurs. To find more concrete proof of a dream state, the ecologists will continue to observe spiders, experimenting with rousing spiders from slumber to ascertain how much they depend on sleep or if they are just resting their eyes. While the research is still ongoing, the study has raised interesting questions about sleep’s purpose and evolution, reflecting how humans and animals may be more alike than previously thought. Read more about it at The Wall Street Journal.

Image courtesy of Daniela C Rößler