Octopus Sucker Technology – The Weird Science Of An Octopus Sucker

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Those hundreds of powerful suckers on octopus arms do more than just stick. They actually smell and taste. This contributes to a massive amount of information for the octopus’s brain to process, so the octopus depends on its eight arms for help.

image/text credit: Deep Look 

Everyone knows that an octopus has eight arms. And similar to our arms it uses them to grab things and move around. But that’s where the similarities end. Hundreds of suckers on each octopus arm give them abilities people can only dream about.

image credit: montereybayaquarium.org

“The suckers are hands that also smell and taste,” said Rich Ross, senior biologist and octopus aquarist at the California Academy of Sciences.

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Suckers are “very similar to our taste buds, from what little we know about them,” said University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, cephalopod biologist William Kier.

So the octopus has adapted over time. It has about 500 million neurons (dogs have around 600 million), the cells that allow it to process and communicate information. And these neurons are distributed to make the most of its eight arms.

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