Quantcast
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Do ants sleep?

Matt:

I have a question for you-- do ants ever sleep?

Bill Goehring, San Diego

Rust never sleeps, but ants do. At least that's what bug researchers say, and we'll have to take their word for it since ants don't have eyelids, they don't snore, and I've never seen one sprawled out, drooling on the couch in front of the TV. "Sleep" may be stretching a point, actually. In the bug lab, a dozing ant is one that slows down, doesn't wave its antennae very much, and sort of hangs out staring vacantly into space for a while. Two researchers actually managed to fit some tiny electrodes onto tiny ants' even tinier heads to detect much, much tinier electrical activity from their very, very extremely tiny brains. The PhDs swear they observed slowed brain activity during these resting periods, though they admit ants don't have much in the gray-matter department. Who said science isn't fun? Anyway, these "sleeping" periods lasted for about eight minutes out of each 12-hour period-- every other one of these interludes is more like a nap than actual sleep. Groups of ants seemed to coordinate these rests so the whole colony doesn't flake out at the same time.

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

One or two puffs for the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health

And so starts the procession of questions.
Next Article

Nathan Fletcher, wife Lorena Gonzalez, and Ben Hueso roll in dough

Faulconer turns off police access to hidden cameras

Matt:

I have a question for you-- do ants ever sleep?

Bill Goehring, San Diego

Rust never sleeps, but ants do. At least that's what bug researchers say, and we'll have to take their word for it since ants don't have eyelids, they don't snore, and I've never seen one sprawled out, drooling on the couch in front of the TV. "Sleep" may be stretching a point, actually. In the bug lab, a dozing ant is one that slows down, doesn't wave its antennae very much, and sort of hangs out staring vacantly into space for a while. Two researchers actually managed to fit some tiny electrodes onto tiny ants' even tinier heads to detect much, much tinier electrical activity from their very, very extremely tiny brains. The PhDs swear they observed slowed brain activity during these resting periods, though they admit ants don't have much in the gray-matter department. Who said science isn't fun? Anyway, these "sleeping" periods lasted for about eight minutes out of each 12-hour period-- every other one of these interludes is more like a nap than actual sleep. Groups of ants seemed to coordinate these rests so the whole colony doesn't flake out at the same time.

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

“My favorite John Waters movie is…”

A quick dissertation on the correlation between organic food intake and jean skinniness
Next Article

What Beethoven's Fifth is not

An answer to vox.com
Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Set 'em Up Joe — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close