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Author Topic: Do insects sleep?  (Read 9663 times)

Offline Karsten

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Do insects sleep?
« on: 05/08/2009 13:07:27 »
Not much more to add to the headline. Do insects sleep?


 

Offline Karen W.

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Do insects sleep?
« Reply #1 on: 05/08/2009 13:14:25 »
Thats a good question...I have never seen an ant sleep but does a caterpillar sleep in a cocoon before it turns into the beautiful butterfly in the chrysalis?

I have seen spiders stop for very long periods as if they are resting or sleeping.. but I do not know if tht is what they are doing.. How could one tell if a insect were in fact sleeping? What would one look for as we look for the usually slowed even breathing, closed eyelids and all the sleep cycles etc.. How could we tell that on a bug? Do they all have eyelids what about the lung thing...?
 

Offline LeeE

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Do insects sleep?
« Reply #2 on: 05/08/2009 13:32:41 »
Heh - caterpillars don't just 'sleep' in the cocoon - they dissolve into a gloop and then reform as the flutterby.

Insects don't have eyelids and can't close their compound eyes but I've certainly seen some moths and beetles that appear to be 'asleep' - you can pick them up and they appear to be dead, but then later come back to life.  Many moths, of course, seem to be nocturnal, but I don't know whether their daily periods of inactivity could be regarded as 'sleep' in the sense that we sleep.  Our brains are still active while we're asleep but it's possible that the entire metabolism slows almost to a stop during these periods of inactivity in insects.
 

Offline Karen W.

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Do insects sleep?
« Reply #3 on: 05/08/2009 16:02:19 »
Thats interesting!

I did not know that caterpillars turned to goop inside the chrysalis before emerging as a butterfly.. I thought they just developed wings!
« Last Edit: 06/08/2009 04:53:57 by Karen W. »
 

Offline LeeE

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Do insects sleep?
« Reply #4 on: 05/08/2009 20:11:30 »
Yeah - it seems weird at first thought, but when you consider the scale of change between a caterpillar and a butterfly it sort of makes sense to liquefy itself and then rebuild from scratch rather than trying to modify completely unsuitable structures.

From the wikipedia article on metamorphosis:

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Whilst inside the pupa, the insect will excrete digestive juices, to destroy much of the larva's body, leaving a few cells intact. The remaining cells will begin the growth of the adult, using the nutrients from the broken down larva. This process of cell death is called histolysis, and cell regrowth histogenesis.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metamorphosis_(biology)
 

Ethos

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Do insects sleep?
« Reply #5 on: 05/08/2009 22:31:41 »
Heh - caterpillars don't just 'sleep' in the cocoon - they dissolve into a gloop and then reform as the flutterby.

Ahh yes, the true shape shifters on this rocky ball we call earth!
 

Offline Karen W.

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Do insects sleep?
« Reply #6 on: 05/08/2009 22:59:16 »
Yeah - it seems weird at first thought, but when you consider the scale of change between a caterpillar and a butterfly it sort of makes sense to liquefy itself and then rebuild from scratch rather than trying to modify completely unsuitable structures.

From the wikipedia article on metamorphosis:

Quote
Whilst inside the pupa, the insect will excrete digestive juices, to destroy much of the larva's body, leaving a few cells intact. The remaining cells will begin the growth of the adult, using the nutrients from the broken down larva. This process of cell death is called histolysis, and cell regrowth histogenesis.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metamorphosis_(biology)

WOW!!!!

I DID NOT KNOW THAT!

That is AWESOME!

I read it and yet I still am amazed at how this comes to be........ Makes me wonder about our own bodies decomposition and what, if any cells, survive? If they do, what grows from those live human cells if anything?

That is truly Amazing!!!

Learned something really important here today...Thanks LeeE!
 

Offline LeeE

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Do insects sleep?
« Reply #7 on: 06/08/2009 00:22:00 »
I think that the key difference is that when we die none of our cells survive.  If we're not cremated, then bacteria, worms and wigglies can break our bodies down into nutrients, to eat us up and feed the daisies.
 

Offline Karsten

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Do insects sleep?
« Reply #8 on: 06/08/2009 02:12:29 »
I think that the key difference is that when we die none of our cells survive.  If we're not cremated, then bacteria, worms and wigglies can break our bodies down into nutrients, to eat us up and feed the daisies.

And while they do this, do they take a break sometimes and sleep? At least the participating insects? Although it also makes me wonder if worms  sleep.
 

Offline Karen W.

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Do insects sleep?
« Reply #9 on: 06/08/2009 04:51:57 »
They are kind of nocturnal aren't they, that is....unless you disturb them during the day?
 

Offline Karen W.

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Do insects sleep?
« Reply #10 on: 06/08/2009 04:57:26 »
Can I ask.... Does the simple fact that an animal or insect is nocturnal mean they sleep, or does it just indicate a less active period of time?
 

Offline LeeE

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Do insects sleep?
« Reply #11 on: 06/08/2009 13:48:06 »
Heh - back to the original question.

I thought I'd see what wikipedia has to say on the subject of sleep:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sleep

...and found this sentence in the opening paragraph...

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In humans, other mammals, and a substantial majority of other animals that have been studied (such as some species of fish, birds, ants, and fruit flies), regular sleep is essential for survival

Note the inclusion of fruit flies (my emphasis) in that list.
 

Offline Karsten

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Do insects sleep?
« Reply #12 on: 06/08/2009 14:02:12 »
Well, if fruit flies need to sleep, I will (unscientifically) assume that other insects need to sleep too. Thanks.

I guess they just sit still somewhere and do nothing much for a while.
 

Offline LeeE

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Do insects sleep?
« Reply #13 on: 06/08/2009 14:14:23 »
Oops - didn't notice that ants were included in that list too.
 

Offline graham.d

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Do insects sleep?
« Reply #14 on: 06/08/2009 14:47:38 »
Ah, but do they dream? Sleep that knits the ravelled sleeve of care - and they might have 6 sleeves.
 

Offline LeeE

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Do insects sleep?
« Reply #15 on: 07/08/2009 14:15:49 »
Arrgh! - the unwanted concept of counting neileps to get to sleep has just entered my mind  [:0]
 

lyner

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Do insects sleep?
« Reply #16 on: 07/08/2009 18:46:11 »
Ah, but do they dream? Sleep that knits the ravelled sleeve of care - and they might have 6 sleeves.
Are "nits" insects or arachnidae?
 

Offline graham.d

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Do insects sleep?
« Reply #17 on: 07/08/2009 20:14:24 »
I believe nits are the shells left after the lice hatch. Lice are insects. I don't think it's what the Bard had in mind :-)
 

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Do insects sleep?
« Reply #17 on: 07/08/2009 20:14:24 »

 

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