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04 Apr 2017
by CARPology
Can carp sleep?
Answering some of the more unusual angling issues and topics

Question...

Bit of an odd question, but do carp actually sleep?

Answer...

Says fish boffin and fishery manager, Ben Gratwicke: "This is an interesting one. To start with we must remember that like us, fish are vertebrates that have a complex nervous system. In humans there is still some debate, discussion and dispute about the exact function of sleep, so for fish the science is at best patchy – but what we do know is that fish do sleep!

"Although this may seem strange because fish do not have eyelids and so cannot shut their eyes as we do, but when carp are sleeping they relax their fin muscles, so the dorsal fin tends to lay flat and the fish will either come to rest on or near the bottom of the lake or at the surface of the water amongst weed, snags or similar cover. Their breathing rate also slows, as the fish appears to relax. Nighty night!"

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