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Bio101 Organism Physiology: The Octopus

1750 words - 7 pages

Organism Physiology: The Octopus
Bio/101
January 17, 2010

Enteroctopus Dofleini or giant octopus is a marine invertebrate organism that inhabits the oceans off the coast of the United States. Its food source consists of crabs, small fish, clams, mussels and other marine animals. The octopus is predatory by nature and has developed many adaptations in the form of advance specialized organs to aid in its survival.
The octopus has developed several organs that are vital to its survival, the brain/nervous system, complex eyes and arms for capturing its prey. In this paper the topic to discuss is these different organs ...view middle of the document...

The octopus waits for the prey to arrive within reach, then grabs it and secretes a nerve poison, stunning the prey. Chromataphores are they light reflecting cells on the skin of the giant octopus that allow it to blend into their surroundings. Each chromataphore consists of a central cell containing pigment granules which is then surrounded by 15-25 muscle fibers and receives instructions by a set of nerve cells controlled by the brain.

Diagram of a chromataphore cell.


Picture of clumps of chromataphore cells on skin.



In times of distress, the octopus can detach a limb and the crawling arm serves as a distraction to the predator, allowing the octopus to escape.
The octopus is a great example of adaptation in an organism and has the ability to adapt to any environment it inhabits. The brain enables the octopus to solve problems and has the ability to remember its surroundings, the brain works with the octopus’s arms similar to the way the brain works the human limbs. The brain sends nerve impulses to the arms and then the arms carryout the tasks that are signaled by the brain. The octopus can sense a predator and utilize its defense mechanism as an ink screen that disorients and confuses the predator. This allows the octopus to escape to safety. The physiological development of the organs in the octopus ensures its survival in its habitat, and makes it an excellent hunter.


It is hypothesized [Passive voice ] that the brain of the octopus gives a task to the arm and the arm essentially decides how to carry out that task. An experiment was done [Passive voice ] that involved separating and cutting the nerves of the arm from other nerves in the body and then [consider removing "then"] tickling the arm. The response showed the injured arm reacted just as a healthy octopus’s arm would (Horton, 2008). All of this unique circuitry gives the octopus immaculate control over their bodies.
The octopus prefers movement in a style closest to walking. Suckers on each arm move in unison to [Incorrect preposition--should be "with"] propel the octopus. Each sucker has up to 10,000

neurons in it (Horton, 2008Marine biologists that have studied cephalopods claim that their subjects even have personalities and “that octopuses engage in play, the deliberate, repeated, outwardly useless activity through which smarter animals explore their world and refine their skills” (Scigliano, 2003) [The citation for a direct quote needs the page number] . One scientist claims that her octopus even “bubble surfs” by spreading his mantle out and letting the aerator jets from his tank run under his body (Scigliano, 2003). .
Key traits were noted out of 73 lab-bred octopuses. Discoveries showed...

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