Thursday, September 15, 2022

Jumping Spiders: Sweet Dreams?

Environmental & Science Education, STEM, Behavior, Nature, Biological Evolution

Ed Hessler

I'm always pleased when I find a jumping spider in my house or anyone's house (although when in someone else's home I don't announce it). Cute, seeming to study you as much as you attempt to  study them - they are not still for very long - with their "my-what-big-eyes-you have. 

Now it has been reported that they might share a feature with us, Rem sleepNPR's Kai McNamee reports on the findings where she defines Rem sleep as "REM sleep, also known as paradoxical sleep, is the phase of our sleep cycle where our brains show an increase in activity but our bodies remain immobilized — our eyes dart quickly, and we can experience really visual dreams."

So do these tiny rascals dream, too?  It is not known with the kind of certainty based on evidence that is the stuff of science but this is sure to come, one way or the other.. And so far, that sleep in jumping spiders is refreshingly described with the caution of scientists: "something like rapid eye movement,"  "might even dream at night."

There is a short film taken by lead researcher, Dr. Daniela Roessler which shows some of the phases of their sleep. In addition, the paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) which includes several short videos - is linked in McNamee's essay. The link to Daniela Roessler has a photo right at the top of a jumping spider as well as a description of her research, etc.
You might enjoy this educational study video (8m 28s) of the most common jumping spider in Australia, the Green Jumping spider. He is an enthusiast.

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