Upside-down jellyfish are the first brainless animals to pass sleep tests | Science News

Real Science. Real News.

Science News is a nonprofit.

Support us by subscribing now.


To test sleep, researchers don’t let sleeping jellyfish lie

Experiments suggest that upside-down jellyfish are the first brainless animals that snooze

4:52pm, September 26, 2017

SNOOZING JELLY  Some Cassiopea jellyfish regularly enter a sleeplike state, a new study finds.

View the video

The life of a jellyfish may seem like a real snooze, but until now biologists were never certain if the gelatinous blobs actually slept. Now it appears that at least one group of jellyfish needs its beauty sleep just like us.

Some species of upside-down jellyfish (Cassiopea) meet all of the criteria for entering a “sleeplike state,” a group of Caltech researchers report September 21 in Current Biology. The jellyfish seem groggy after a sleepless night and quickly waken from their slumber when fed, experiments show.

It’s a surprising find: Sleep and sleeplike states have been documented in a wide range of animals — from microscopic wormlike nematodes to, of course, humans (SN: 10/24/09, p. 16). But until now, the behavior has been observed only in

This article is only available to Science News subscribers. Already a subscriber? Log in now.
Or subscribe today for full access.

Get Science News headlines by e-mail.

More from Science News

From the Nature Index Paid Content