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Lion 狮子 Beijing Zoo 北京动物园

Beijing Zoo 北京动物园

This lioness 母狮子 (mǔshīzi) was so still that she hardly seemed to be breathing. Cats sleep 13.2 hours per day on average. Among the lions, sleep is an even larger part of their day. The male lion will sleep 20 hours a day given half a chance. Lions, especially the lioness, are awake mostly during the night. The lioness hunts at night, so the daytime is devoted to a good snooze.

Among cats in general 26% to 33% of their sleep is what is called Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep. REM sleep is associated with dreaming. Among domestic cats, deprivation of REM sleep results in increased amount of REM during the next undisturbed cycle. This indicates a necessity for REM sleep, but there is no clear answer as the function of REM. It is unlikely that cats make up the complex symbols or read deeper meaning into their dreams as we do.

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Last update: November 2009
© Marilyn Shea, 2009