The latest research shows that dinosaurs may have snoozed in a manner similar to humans. Yet they didn’t have anything even close to memory mattresses back then.
We may have a lot in common with dinosaurs and reptiles than was thought of previously. A study which got published in the journal Science today, measured brain patterns of lizards.
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It was a novel technique that was employed for the sake of science. When reptiles sleep, they alternate between REM and slow wave sleep styles. This is similar to how mammals and birds tend to doze off.
From this we can deduce the fact that dinosaurs used to sleep in a manner that was the same as mammals and birds. Most animals begin experiencing these sleep cycles from the beginning of their rest periods.
Most of the findings were quite shocking to scientists who were not expecting such results at all. Previously it was thought that REM and slow wave sleep were confined to mammals and birds.
Yet now we know that reptiles and dinosaurs share this trait with avians and homo sapiens. Around the time when avians separated from their ancestors and the mammalian line evolved, REM sleep began to be incorporated into the sleep patterns of these two groups of the animal kingdom.
However, the latest evidence points in the direction of older cold-blooded species that had the same system intact in their neurochemistry. Australian Bearded Dragons had silicon probes inserted in their forebrain regions.
As these lizards slept their sleep patterns and brain waves were carefully noted down. Also the eye movements of these lizards were recorded with fidelity.
The reptiles showed a style of sleep that was very much like the mammals and birds. Thus these patterns of sleep are nearly universal and evolved very early on in the genesis of species. It is especially unique to vertebrates.
This research in no way suggests that mammals, birds, dinosaurs and lizards are related closely to each other. Yet their sleep patterns match. Humans are differentiated by their sophisticated routines which they participate in before they hit the bed.
They read a good book, take a long luxurious bubble bath or stack up the pillows to sleep soundly. The sleep rhythms of animals probably served some function.
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It was probably information transfer and memory consolidation. The arrangement of the brains various memory files in order was what this thing called sleep managed to accomplish on a real time basis.