Do arms/suckers have any ability to ingest food?

Discussion in 'Octopus Care' started by DWhatley, Jun 8, 2007.

  1. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    Do suckers have any direct ability to digest food or deliver it to the stomach or is there other ingestion than food taken by mouth?

    I have seen posts that relagate the sense of "smell" and "taste" to the suckers. I know from observation octopuses can move food along the suckers and I have seen Trapper put the end of her arm into her mouth when she was eating but at other times is appears that the octopuses are feeding directly through their arms (they may be simply moving the small food toward the mouth and I can't see the passage).
     
  2. monty

    monty Colossal Squid Staff Member Supporter

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    The only system octos have to digest anything is through the mouth and gut... this is an area where our own anatomy is pretty different from octos: almost all of our chemical sensing is related to our mouth and nose (taste and smell) so it's closely tied to ingestion, but for an octo, taste and touch are more closely related out at the suckers... but the suckers are not connected to the digestive system at all.
     
  3. Opcn

    Opcn GPO Supporter

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    No, the suckers do not have any sort of sack to hold the food in to digest it.
     
  4. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    Thanks Monty and Opcn,
    I was aware that octos are radically different in their biology from mammals but I could find no mention of additional digestion on the anatomy charts (with 3 hearts and a donut brain, most anything could be possible). The observed feeding behavior could be explained by using the suckers to move the food particles to the mouth (I have seen Trapper move larger items along the arm this way) but thought I would ask if something else might be taking place as well.
     

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