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Wisdom Wednesday | Octopuses

Shore Buddies Wisdom Wednesday 04/21/2021

Image of an octopus swimming in the ocean. Photo by @creationscape on Instagram

Photo by Michael B. Hardie

The ancestors of octopuses lived on Earth around 296 million years ago. They have three hearts, two of which help move their blood beyond their gills. Their third heart’s function is to circulate blood to their organs. The third heart does not beat while an octopus swims, which is part of why swimming exhausts them so much and they prefer to crawl. Octopuses also have blue, copper-based blood, unlike a human’s iron-based blood. This difference in blood type helps octopuses survive in colder waters that have lower amounts of oxygen. These animals are cephalopods and are very smart creatures. They have been known to navigate mazes, solve problems, and take things apart for fun. An octopus has eight arms, which contains two thirds of their neurons. This means that their arms can operate separately from the rest of them and even continue to react if they have been severed from the rest of the animal. An octopus’ ink does more than simply hide them from predators. It can also physically harm other creatures, causing them irritation or inhibiting their sense of smell and taste.