Are octopuses able to hear?

Discussion in 'Physiology and Biology' started by lene, Feb 8, 2006.

  1. lene

    lene Larval Mass Registered

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    Hello,

    I study biology in germany and have a question about the sensation of octopuses. Are they able to hear? It may be a stupid question but I can´t find out whether it has been answered or not...:roll:
     
  2. Graeme

    Graeme Vampyroteuthis Registered

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    ... actually that's a good question! I don't know the answer, but since they seem to focus on a more visual world and chemical world, I would hazzard a guess and say a possible no, if not having a good sense of hearing! I've never seen any such organs in a ceph before. Have you tried looking on either Google or Google Scholar? I find scholar one of the best resources for finding scientific papers.

    Graeme
     
  3. Graeme

    Graeme Vampyroteuthis Registered

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  4. lene

    lene Larval Mass Registered

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    I actually found out that the species Octopus, Loligo, Sepia and Vampyroteuthis are indead able to recept vibrations under water and sense pure tone of 600 Hz. This sound-technique is common on sqiud fishing boats in Japan.:boat:

    This is based on an publication of Hanlon and Budelmann in 1987. Professor Hanlon is still researching at the Woods Hole Marine Biological Laboratory in Massachusetts. But there is still no answer in the www to my question if they do communicate by sounds...:roll: Maybe I will find out when I undertake my studies. Thanks for the reply!:grin:
     
  5. Taollan

    Taollan Vampyroteuthis Supporter

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    In my work with GPOs in the San Juans, have been able to get them to respond to the clicking together of rocks outside of their dens (ie, I would come to the dens once every few days and give them a crab, and clicking the rocks together before I gave them food. Before long they would come out as soon as I clicked the rocks). I haven't done any quantitative work with it, but seems suggestive.
     
  6. Graeme

    Graeme Vampyroteuthis Registered

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    That's interesting! I suppose it would be very likely that they can detect vibrations through the water, since what is sound but vibrations? Could it be the vibrations caused in the water by the clicking rocks, or water disturbance caused bu the movements under water? I know they can pick up chemicals in the water easily, could it be chemicals from you hands (ie. smell?) it's most likely "hearing" the clicks, I really don't know enough about a cephalopod's sensory system.

    Graeme
     
  7. Euprymna

    Euprymna O. vulgaris Registered

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    It all depends on what you call by hearing. Sound is difficult to define in an aquatic environment. There has been quite debate on whether they can hear or not (Moynhian said yes they are deaf, Hanlon said no they are not). All I can say is that when I tap on tanks holding octopus, they change colour like when I do a sudden fast move over them. Is it actually the sound or the vibrations of moving water produced by the tap disturbing them?
    I think this has been previously discussed in a previous thread...

    Now can cephalopods communicate by sound...I cannot think of any organ capable of producing sound and haven't heard anything about that...but you always learn new exciting stuff so...

    eups
     
  8. bigGdelta

    bigGdelta Vampyroteuthis Supporter

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    if they can detect the vibrations then it's close enough to hearing for me.
     
  9. Jean

    Jean Colossal Squid Supporter

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    One of the presentations at CIAC dealt with this topic. When I catch my breath I'll look out my notes on it!

    J
     
  10. ArchyNorth

    ArchyNorth GPO Supporter

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    Now I may be showing my ignorance here but,

    Sound is caused by waves in the air that vibrate the eardrum. These vibrations are then registered by the brain as sound. I know that this is a simplistic description but am I generaly correct?

    If I am, then can't water then be viewed as just another medium that the waves travel through? If the animal can sense these vibrations and then have its brain interpret those signals, couldn't that be termed as hearing?

    The animals may not have an "eardrum" as we see it, but couldn't they have another way in sensing these vibrations? Being how "thick" water is and how well vibrations (sound) travel in it, maybe the animals entire body could be seen as an "eardrum".

    Anyway, just some thoughts.

    Cheers.
     
  11. Toren

    Toren Vampyroteuthis Supporter

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    Like at band practice when I can feel the bass through the floor!
     
  12. Graeme

    Graeme Vampyroteuthis Registered

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    Yeah! when you go to a gig, the music's so loud the whole place vibrates with sound! You don't just hear it, you feel it. I think that in water, vibrations travel better, which means that sound travels better in water than in air (it doesn't attenuate or something) and so it owuld be possible for an octopus to detect the sound vibrations, whether it actually physically hears them or not... I guess.

    Graeme
     
  13. Tintenfisch

    Tintenfisch Architeuthis Staff Member Moderator

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    Someone actually presented on this very topic at CIAC... but I missed it. :oops: Steve was there though - apparently it was interesting. Will try to get him to post...
     
  14. Graeme

    Graeme Vampyroteuthis Registered

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    That'd be brilliant, Kat, by the way how are things? I've managed to find some more papers for my dissertation! Printing one off about the Bioluminescence in Stauroteuthis styrensis!

    Graeme
     
  15. Taollan

    Taollan Vampyroteuthis Supporter

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    :bugout: The suspense is killing me...however in the mean time I have found an article that deals somewhat with this...

    Pakard, A., H. E. Karlsen and O. Sand. 1990. Low frequency hearing in cephalopods. J. Comp. Physiol. A 166: 501–505.

    In this they found that Sepia officinalis, Octopus vulgaris and Luligo vulgaris were able to respond to a sound between 1 to 100 Hz. (they trained the poor critters to associate it with electrical shock. It seems positive reinforcement would have been... more humane... ) This is would be a much lower frequency than clicking rocks together..
     
  16. squidviscious

    squidviscious Cuttlefish Registered

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    Kenzo Kaifu gave a good presentation at CIAC titled
    "Hearing in Octopus"
    They tested the theory that the octopus were hearing as they were subjected to sound waves of different frequencies.
    Reponses in their behaviour and respiration noted the detectable frequency ranges for two octo species, O. vulgaris and O. ocellatus. They also proposed that larger octos were able to detect and respond to lower frequencies and visa versa!!!
     
  17. main_board

    main_board Vampyroteuthis Supporter

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    I caught that talk and without refering to the program, I think their proposed reasoning was that the vibrations move the octopus in the water enough for it to sense a change (potentially through the statocysts, can't remember). As Jasen said, they did prove a difference between sizes, but I thought it was that smaller octos could detect lower frequencies as they are smaller and more easily moved by less motion. Can't quite put my finger on it but some one else from CIAC surely will remember.

    Cheers!
     
  18. Jean

    Jean Colossal Squid Supporter

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    OK got my notes!

    Sound was defined as "the disturbance of a medium including compression waves and particle movement" and hearing as " An animal hears when it behaves as if it has located a moving source a distance from it"

    species involved were O. vulgaris, O. conispadiceus, O. dofleini, O. ocellatus, O. kigoshimensis

    Stimulus was 50 - 200Hz at 120dB, indicator that sound was"heard" was increased respiratory activity.

    All bar O. dofleini responded.

    O. vulgaris responded to 50, 100 Hz.

    Others responded to 50, 100 & 150Hz, in addition to increased resp, O. ocellatus and O. kigoshemensis also retracted their eyes (maybe wincing :grin: ).

    Reasons suggested for responsed were, different body sizes......smaller were more responsive. It also appeared that particle acceleration was more important than wave length......may increase statolith vibration and cell hair movement in the lateral line analogue!

    J
     
  19. monty

    monty Colossal Squid Staff Member Supporter

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    Did they say if they'd tried small juvenile O. dofleini to see if it's a size or a species difference? I also wonder if adults are just big & bad enough to not scare as easily...
     
  20. Taollan

    Taollan Vampyroteuthis Supporter

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    Dofleini's not deaf

    hmmm.... my gut feeling (and a little experience) tell me that E. dofleini can hear.. My rock clicking experiences was with large individuals, however the frequency was much higher than 200Hz. I may have to plug a hearing component randomly into my master's thesis to explore this a little more....

    And if nothing else, my vote is with Monty...those suckers are just big enought not to worry about stuff like that unless it means they get to eat.
     

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