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ehr, nine brains?

enrico

Cuttlefish
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hi.
slightly embarrassed to be asking this question but here goes.. (i know nil about octopuses, though i plan to do something about that:smile:

i've been hearing these stories about octopuses having nine brains, -one "mainframe" and then 8 more, -one in each tentacle. however, i haven't been able to dig up any information on the web that confirms this claim.. well, not on any reliable sites at least. and it seems kinda too wild be true.. :shock: is this just a popular misconception stemming from the fact that octopuses seem to have more "decentralized" forms of control mechanisms and a complex nervous system, or is it actually a fact?

sorry for the ranting, i haven't got the foggiest about what i'm talking about,
please bear with a newbie :biggrin2:
 
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:welcome: to TONMO.

First off, that was a VERY good question.

Well, I wouldn't say nine actual "brains" per se, but there are clusters of ganglia in the arms that probably do a lot of sensory and motor processing on their own, reporting to the Central Nervous System and brain as needed.

A lot of people write about the many "brains" of octos. I think this is mostly to dazzle the laymen a bit. This article, is a bit better, but what is really worth noting is that this adaptation is a lot like how our own vertebrate brain works; we have a lot of sensory and motor functions outsourced by the brain to the nerves. In no way am I trashing the aforementioned article; its just that we vertebrates do the same thing and tend to take it for granted. Makes we wonder who is convergent with whom...

Octos also have an actual brain, and a cartilaginous skull - this cephalization is a MAJOR adaptive change from other members of its phylum. The gathering and change of its cranial nerves into a brain offers an interesting look into its behavioural ecology and natural history.

THIS LINK may offer some information.

Hopefully this was of some help...

John
 

Graeme

Vampyroteuthis
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Fujisawas Sake said:
:
and a cartilaginous skull

John
eh!? I thought that for the most part, octopuses were vitrually free of hard parts, 'cept those 9 spp of NZ octopuses?

But yeah, regarding the brains; they are ganglia, which are a swelling of the nerve bundles, if my memory serves me correctly. I expect that they can't use 'em to think, but the senses in the arms will be highly developed, as well as motor control.

Graeme- gah! tis too early for me... and I have to get on with my hons proj!:cry:
 

enrico

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Graeme said:
eh!? I thought that for the most part, octopuses were vitrually free of hard parts
hi!
i'm anything but well-versed in the terminolgy of bio-/physiology, but i thought "cartilaginous" meant exactly that it isn't hard but rather soft and tissue-like, as opposed to "calcareous"...?? :hmm:
 

enrico

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Fujisawas Sake said:
Hopefully this was of some help...
it sure was, and thanks for the pointers, they made for some truly fascinating reading. one thing though, -am i right in taking what you said about octopuses here to also apply to cephalopods in general? (please pardon the noob factor :smile:)
 
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Graeme said:
eh!? I thought that for the most part, octopuses were vitrually free of hard parts, 'cept those 9 spp of NZ octopuses?
Yeah... cool, isn't it? In Invertebrates by Gary and Richard Brusca, the Brusca brothers mention a rudimentary cartilaginous skull surrounding the brain case. "Hard" or "soft" in this case is pretty much up to you, but its nothing that can hinder the octopus' movement much. It also should be noted that this level of cephalization is usually reserved for those animals needing to protect their brain! I think that's badass, considering that this is a mollusc.
 

Graeme

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enrico said:
hi!
i'm anything but well-versed in the terminolgy of bio-/physiology, but i thought "cartilaginous" meant exactly that it isn't hard but rather soft and tissue-like, as opposed to "calcareous"...?? :hmm:
err, yeah you're right, I feel really stupid now that I've actually read that word properly :oops:
Cartilage is, in fact, essentially soft bone that hasn't been calcified. Makes up a shark's skeleton. Why on Io did I think that it was a hard substance!? Oh well, must've been the day I was having...:razz:

Graeme
 

Graeme

Vampyroteuthis
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Fujisawas Sake said:
Yeah... cool, isn't it? In Invertebrates by Gary and Richard Brusca, the Brusca brothers mention a rudimentary cartilaginous skull surrounding the brain case. "Hard" or "soft" in this case is pretty much up to you, but its nothing that can hinder the octopus' movement much. It also should be noted that this level of cephalization is usually reserved for those animals needing to protect their brain! I think that's badass, considering that this is a mollusc.
wow! Could this indicate some sort of (almost) higher intelligence? Sure, it's well known that they can problem solve etc, butcould the need to protect its faculties mean that it's maybe on par with most decent-sized mammals? I dunno- too early in the morning for me to make sense!

Graeme
 

OB

Colossal Squid
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On octopus intelligence

I failed to launch significant interest in the "recently" discovered mimic octupus in another thread :wink: so maybe this one might pick up on it, as it's (a lot) less off topic here. :oops:

http://marinebio.org/species.asp?id=260

http://www.oceanfootage.com/stockfootage/Mimic_Octopus/

If you look at available footage on the web, it is uncanny how "ambidextrous" this little octopus is, each arm feeling it's way around the surface clearly gives off the impression of a dedicated neural circuit governing each, whereas the mimic behaviour halmarks an impressive level of integration at the behavioural (central) level. The only thing that gets me is that with molluscs, the smarter they get, the more shortlived they seem to be, in total contrast to vertebrate analogies. Clams may grow to well over a hundred years, whereas the average cuttle or octopus doesn't make it past two. :boohoo:
 

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