Monday, April 21, 2014

Platypuses Dream More Than Any Other Animal

Scientists say that the duck-billed platypuses get more REM sleep than any other animal on Earth.

The duck-billed platypus is native to Tasmania and Australia, and reportedly gets eight hours of REM sleep per day.

In comparison, humans get around two hours of REM sleep on a good night, which is important for brain functioning when it comes to learning and memory consolidation.

Several studies conducted by the University of California, Los Angeles psychiatrist and sleep researcher J.M. Siegel focused on comparing different animals REM sleep patterns, and how they evolved based on environmental conditions and other variables.

Results of Siegel's research "suggest that the immediate reptilian ancestors of the early mammals either had REM sleep or had a state with many of the neural correlates of REM sleep, or that REM sleep evolved very rapidly in the mammalian line."

Since birds also reportedly have REM sleep, data from the study doesn't rule out the possibility that dinosaurs experienced REM sleep and might have been able to dream.

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