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Watch: Footage shows octopus changing colour in her sleep

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Watch: Footage shows octopus changing colour in her sleep
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Reuters
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Do octopuses dream? This is the question marine biologists are asking after watching footage of one of the molluscs sleeping, which captured her changing colour multiple times throughout the night.

Scientists believe the colour changes could indicate what's happening in her dreams.

Dr David Scheel, a marine biologist at Alaska Pacific University in Anchorage, USA, explained: "If she is dreaming, this is a dramatic moment. You can almost just narrate the body changes and then narrate the dream.

"So here she's asleep, she sees a crab, and her colour starts to change a little bit. Then she turns all dark. This is camouflage like she's just subdued a crab and she's going to sit there and eat it and she doesn't want anyone to notice her."

He added: "It's a very unusual behaviour to see her colour come and go on her mantle like that. Just to be able to see all the different colour patterns just flashing one after another. You don't usually see that when an animal is sleeping. This really is fascinating."

The clip is part of the episode "Octopus: Making Contact".