Octopuses are among the most intelligent animals in animals. They have a great ability to learn, both socially and spatially, and are even capable of solving simple problems. In purely physical terms, they have three hearts and nine brains and can change the color and texture of their skin depending on the amount of ambient light that surrounds them. Now, several new studies have shed more data about these strange animals. One of the most recent ones, as with humans, ensures that their brain goes through various cycles while they sleep, as they dream and change color. The second work suggests that they can Palate Everything that passes through his tentacles before he puts it in his mouth. Elngel F.
For the first study published in the journal iScienceA group of researchers exposed four octopuses (Common Octopus) To visual stimuli during different stages of your daily life. During sleep periods, experts distinguished two phases: light sleep and active sleep. In the second, noticeable octopuses frequently changed their skin color and texture, in addition to moving their eyes and mantle at high speed. Something similar to what happens to humans during rapid eye movement.
These changes in color and texture are the octopus’ reactions to predators to hide from, or potential prey to deceive or lure partners. However, Siddharta Ribeiro, one of the study’s directors, ruled out that these were the causes that led to the changes. “During the stages of sleep, these stimuli did not cause these patterns, so we can conclude that the color changes were caused by brain activity independent of external stimuli,” he says.
This type of skin adopts the colors of the environment and collides with the ability of your eyes to catch them. a a study From the University of Cambridge he discovered that octopuses have one type of cones (retinal cells that interpret colors), which causes them to capture a gray scale, according to Gonzales. In addition, the U-shaped pupil means that light does not enter the eye in a straight line, but at an angle, which enhances the visual distortion known as chromatic aberration. This gray scale, added to the chromatic aberration and texture that reaches them through the probes, is the formula used by octopuses to recognize colors and adapt to a situation.
But it isn’t the only information they get through the probes. One of the most recent reports published in the magazine cell About these animals indicate that they are capable of tasting Everything that passes through his legs without putting it in his mouth. In this way, the octopus is able to determine what it is ingesting and whether what it has caught is prey. Nicholas Belluno, lead author of the study, explains in a press release that octopus is able to recognize whether it is touching a crab or a rock with its arm “not only by touch, but also through this kind of flavor.”
Even her genome is atypical. This genetic code Instruction manual That it consists of any living being. Alvaro Rora, a marine biologist and researcher at the Institute of Marine Sciences in Vigo (Galicia), explains that “it should be read like a book, in order from beginning to end.” In the first chromosome (or chapter of the book) are the genes that determine where the head, limbs and each organ go. This information is always together, because one gene activates the next. In octopuses, these genes are distributed over different chromosomes. This is why we think their arms are on their heads, and the esophagus passes through the middle of the brain … ”, Rora says. This is because octopus DNA is full of transposons, parts of the genome that were randomly copied and pasted from one place to another by a virus millions of years ago.
Octopuses are able to taste whatever goes through their legs without putting them in their mouths
In 2018, this led a number of experts to believe that octopuses must have come from outer space and reached Earth via a comet. These researchers raised the possibility of the viruses that caused these transposons, or refrigerated eggs, to arrive. “They are very good people,” Rora admits to the signatories a study, “But it seems to me that the cooled egg escapes entering the earth as if it is wrapped in a ring. To which he adds:” There are billions of viruses on Earth that can cause these transmissions. “
These studies will shed more light on animals that until a few years ago passed almost unnoticed by science, but recently are playing a more pertinent role. Even Netflix dedicated a documentary to them on their platform (What did the octopus teach me?). “It’s an impressive field of research,” concludes Angel Gonzalez. “The greatest advances in issues like cancer treatment relate to marine organisms.” It would not be surprising if in the near future we would see new discoveries about these animals.