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Octopus with branching arms

Tintenfisch

Architeuthis
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What would you do if you came across one of these??

Just a weird mutation that apparently pops up sometimes... anyone else come across images or reports of this? The one I know of best is from Sasaki (1929), from which I have included the photo and a bit of text. He also refers to two other reports, so I'll give the refs below.

Ikeda, S. 1800-1891. A list of Japanese Cephalopoda in the Zoological Institute of Imperial University. Zoological Magazine of Tokyo II, III.

Sasaki, M., 1929. A monograph of the dibranchiate cephalopods of the Japanese and adjacent waters. Journal of the Faculty of Agriculture, Hokkaido Imperial University 20 (Supplement 10): 357 pp.

Smith, E.A. 1900. Notes on an "Octopus" with Branching Arms. Annals and Magazine of Natural History 7(20): 407-411.

:cyclops:

[Edit - Re-attached the Sasaki figure (1929, Plate IV) in 2007, not sure what the other image was.]
 

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Tintenfisch

Architeuthis
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I know, kind of socks you in the gut the first time you see it, huh?
The Smith paper actually gives another reference:

'Furcation in the arms of Cephalopods appears to be a rare occurrence, judging from the few records of such abnormalities. C. Parona* has described and figured bifurcation in an arm of "Eledone moschata," an additional arm in E. Aldrovandi, and a bifurcate arm in "Octopus vulgaris." These are the only records I have been able to discover of such irregularities of growth.

*Boll. Mus. Zool. Anat. Comp. Genova, 1900 no. 96.'
 

Phil

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Kat,

What do you think could cause this deformity? Is it a random mutation do you think, or are there more sinister forces at work here?

Phil
 

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