Sep 3, 2011

Ostriches sleep like platypuses

PloS One
John A LeskuNiels C Rattenborg

Abstract

Mammals and birds engage in two distinct states of sleep, slow wave sleep (SWS) and rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. SWS is characterized by slow, high amplitude brain waves, while REM sleep is characterized by fast, low amplitude waves, known as activation, occurring with rapid eye movements and reduced muscle tone. However, monotremes (platypuses and echidnas), the most basal (or 'ancient') group of living mammals, show only a single sleep state that combines elements of SWS and REM sleep, suggesting that these states became temporally segregated in the common ancestor to marsupial and eutherian mammals. Whether sleep in basal birds resembles that of monotremes or other mammals and birds is unknown. Here, we provide the first description of brain activity during sleep in ostriches (Struthio camelus), a member of the most basal group of living birds. We found that the brain activity of sleeping ostriches is unique. Episodes of REM sleep were delineated by rapid eye movements, reduced muscle tone, and head movements, similar to those observed in other birds and mammals engaged in REM sleep; however, during REM sleep in ostriches, forebrain activity would flip between REM sleep-like activation and SWS-like slow waves, the latter ...Continue Reading

  • References46
  • Citations16

References

  • References46
  • Citations16

Citations

Mentioned in this Paper

Cortex Bone Disorders
Adrenal Cortex Diseases
Epoch
Entire Brainstem
Electroencephalography
Slow Virus Diseases
Sleep, Slow-Wave
Neurons
Brain
Aepyceros melampus

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