Alien? Earthling? Teacher?
The wonderful octopus is a cephalopod who has fascinated us for thousands of years. Recently a paper signed by thirty-three scientists, (none of whom were zoologists or biologists) came out suggesting that there was evidence that octopuses came from outer space. "William Gilly, a biologist specializing in cephalopods at the Hopkins Marine Station of Stanford University, told Popular Science that “To be truthful, this paper seems to be so badly written and full of misleading statements that I cannot believe that it passed peer-review in any respectable journal.” He also asked whether this was perhaps the April Fool’s issue of the journal, as that would be the easiest explanation." 1
However, this marvelous being does have some very unusual physical characteristics...
1) Blue blood. Yup. Humans don't because we have iron in our blood, but octopuses have copper which is more efficient in transporting oxygen in their cold, low oxygen water environment.
2) Brains in their arms. Two-thirds of their neurons reside in their arms (not called tentacles). The suckers on their arms allow them to taste everything they walk on. Having brains plural helps them solve puzzles and problems, regularly use tools and find ways to escape into tiny openings that only have to be able to accommodate their...
3) Beaks. The hardest part of an octopus body is their beak or mouth. They use it to "open" shelled prey.
4) THREE hearts. However, when they move, one heart stops working, so they stroll or glide slowly unless they have to move quickly.
These amazing beings don't have very long lives. Why is that? What is their role/purpose in their interactions with the sea and other creatures? What do Octopuses what US to know? Can they teach us?
Join the Harmony Pack and participate in our conversation with the Octopus Council on Wednesday, May 30th. Click HERE for details.
with Loving Gratitude to Octopuses and All Life Everywhere,
1 Popular Science: "Octopuses are not aliens, but boy are they a bunch of beautiful weirdos. A new paper raises an old, contentious idea." By Sara Chodosh May 18, 2018