• Question: do pigs get nightmares? if so, what is there reaction?

    Asked by pigsgokwak to Charlie, Julian, Steve on 25 Mar 2011.
    • Photo: Stephen Moss

      Stephen Moss answered on 24 Mar 2011:

      Dear Pigsgokwak (amazing name by the way)

      I have no idea. I think many higher mammals certainly have dreams – my cat and dog both do, sometimes they’re really funny when they’re dreaming, but I’ve never seen any sign of nightmares. I guess you’d have to be a ‘pig-dream investigator’ to answer your question – which is not a kind of scientist I’ve ever heard of.

    • Photo: Julian Rayner

      Julian Rayner answered on 24 Mar 2011:

      Great question! The fundamental problem is – how would we know? What would be your experiment? I suppose the experiment would be to attach electrodes to the pigs head while they are asleep, and watch the brain activity, then compare it to humans that you have done the same thing to, and see if there are similarities. But there are lots of things that could be wrong – nightmares might manifest as different kinds of brain activity in different animals.

      My bet would be yes, though. I think dreaming is probably a fairly common phenomenon, and if dreaming happens, chances are nightmares happen too.

    • Photo: Charlie Ryan

      Charlie Ryan answered on 25 Mar 2011:

      Yes but only if they dream of pork chops!
      Did you know that humans when they’re dreaming its called Rapid Eye Movement sleep – REM. Pigs have something similar RPM – Rapid Porkpie Movement!!!!