Monday, April 2, 2012

Octopus: eight arms much intelligence

At the Center for Scientific Research and Higher Education of Ensenada, Baja California (CICESE), a research team at the Aquaculture Department led by Dr. Monica Hernandez conducts studies aimed at achieving the survival of early life stages of three octopus species have commercial importance.
These are called Ocellated octopus paralarvae California (Octopus bimaculoides) of red octopus (Octopus rubescens) and octopus two spots of California (Octopus bimaculatus).

Octopuses are considered more intelligent invertebrates, understood as the ability to learn from experience and problem solving. They have a highly developed nervous system (two thirds in the brain and the rest is in the arms). Their ability to solve problems, overcome obstacles and memorize patterns has been proven by scientists from many disciplines. Jacques-Yves Cousteau, documentary filmmaker and naturalist of the seas, said: "The timidity of the octopus is a rational reaction primarily based on prudence. If the diver is able to show it is harmless, you lose the shyness quickly, faster than any other wild species. "

In the case of Octopus rubescens, its distribution extends from the bottom of California to the Gulf of Alaska, weighs 400 grams, makes it 20,000 to 50,000 eggs, spawning peaks are two: one in April and May, and the other between July and August. In the laboratory of Dr. Monica Hernandez have been fertilized females in the wild, so they have had paralarvae fed unenriched Artemia and died between the third and fourth day. They also performed another test, keeping paralarvae without aeration and moderate thinking of the effect of turbulence, but even with these variations the result was the same: 100 percent mortality.

The results of research conducted by Dr. Monica team, led him to wonder what is the effect of prey size? Their observations indicate that prey take paralarva of the same size, or three mm.

To better control mortality had to separate shelters to feed on mussels or mussels (bivalve molluscs of the family Mytilidae), squid and shrimp. So managed to keep alive a number for behavioral studies, Octopus rubescens. Observed diurnal and nocturnal behavior, displays aggressive when other guys were very close, travel preferences, etc..

By varying the temperature changes observed in the coloration of the octopus very abrupt, occurring from very light to red tones, and changing its shape to that of a cowrie (Cupressus sempervirens), trying to hide their arms and blend well. Dr. Hernandez said that this behavior probably serves to protect your arms, because they are located in the suction cups that serve to detect textures, substrates, and to catch its prey, and documenting that they have about 50 million of nerves in each arm.

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