[News]: Octopuses have a preferred arm!!

Discussion in 'Physiology and Biology' started by tonmo, Jun 15, 2004.

  1. tonmo

    tonmo Titanites Staff Member Webmaster Moderator

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    Are you a righty-1, righty-2, righty-3, righty-4, or a lefty-1, lefty-2, lefty-3, lefty-4? :D

    See article on Nature:

    Octopuses have a preferred arm
     
  2. joel_ang

    joel_ang Architeuthis Registered

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    I be a righty-3 :arr:

    It certainly is quite interesting, but I don't get it, why pick a favourite arm when all of them can do the same thing?
     
  3. Burstsovenergy24

    Burstsovenergy24 Larger Pacific Striped Octopus Supporter

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    Ive heard that some arms learn separately from others. Anybody heard this?
     
  4. spartacus

    spartacus Haliphron Atlanticus Registered

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    sorry to digress a bit but if a cat has nine lives does an octopus have 18
    & a squid 22.5 :?:

    cats in my garden have no lives as both my lesser spotted woodpeckers are now dead & I'm not :D
     
  5. knight4ooo

    knight4ooo Larval Mass Registered

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    Technically isn't that what we as humans do? Both our arms can do the same thing, but still we choose right over left or vise versa.
     
  6. tonmo

    tonmo Titanites Staff Member Webmaster Moderator

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    Exactly! It's what makes that article so interesting. There are a couple of other threads from the past where we discussed similar subject matter:

    Article re: Intelligent Design

    Why Eight Arms?

    :welcome: to TONMO.com, by they way!
     
  7. knight4ooo

    knight4ooo Larval Mass Registered

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    It is really interesting how intelligent these creatures can be. I was reading somewhere that octopi use a combination of movement and color changing to communicate with other octopi (please correct me if I'm wrong on this). Could this actually be the basis of a language? It might not be that far off, just because they don't communicate with sound like we do doesn't mean that it can't be a type of formal language.

    :rainbow: This means "I have to go, where is the bathroom?"
     
  8. monty

    monty Colossal Squid Staff Member Supporter

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    There's a fellow who's done some work on visual communication among cephalopods, particularly cuttlefish and caribbean reef squids.

    Amazon.com lists this:

    Communication and Noncommunication by Cephalopods (Animal Communication)
    by Martin Moynihan

    which I have, but I also remember seeing another book by him at the UCLA libarary which mentioned the Caribbean reef squids explicitly in the title. I haven't read either recently, but I remember being struck by the drawings of various patterns and postures that were gathered and catalogued over a long period of observation.

    There is no question that he did interesting observational work in the data collection in these books. I do recall that I was not completely sold that his attempts at doing linguistic analysis and interpretation of the actual communication were completely justified, but I think his observations are clearly showing that some visual communication is occurring in these animals.

    I think he mentions octopus communication in a more limited context-- octopi are much more solitary critters, while the animals he studied most are more social, so it's not clear that octopusses are likely to have a need to develop as rich a communication scheme.

    I'm curious about how the real teuthologists like Steve and Kat feel about this work, since I haven't seen it referenced much... It certainly is known, though, that there is at least communication of simple ideas between cephalopods using chromatophores, photophores, texture "bump" organs (I forget what those are called), posture, and probably movement. Certainly, there are enough modes there for a relatively rich communication reprtoire.

    Ah, and explicit search on "Caribbean reef squid" on Amazon shows the other book (under M. Moynihan rather than Martin)

    The behavior and natural history of the Caribbean reef squid, sepioteuthis sepioidea: With a consideration of social, signal, and defensive patterns f ... (Journal of comparative ethology. Supplement)
    by M Moynihan

    I hoped to find Moynihan's web page with a google search, and came across this article, which seems like a good summary of cephalopod intelligence research:
    http://www.fortunecity.com/emachines/e11/86/cephpod.html

    this search also found a description of a standard for describing patterns on squid:
    http://userpage.fu-berlin.de/~palaeont/palbio3/05.pdf

    Much more cool stuff can be found on this with google, but I'll stop adding it to this post...
     
  9. Melissa

    Melissa Larger Pacific Striped Octopus Supporter

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    Is right-3 your left foot?

    Crazy to think of each limb learning to do things separately. Maybe that's muscular memory rather than the brain coordinating each movement every time. Do the octos in labs prefer one side for opening jars? A faster arm for crab-snatching? Do right arms-1, 2 and 3 know what the left side is up to? I'm going to think about this all day instead of catching up on things I neglected for three months (like TONMO).

    Melissa
     
  10. tonmo

    tonmo Titanites Staff Member Webmaster Moderator

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    It has been reported that the arms do operate independently, at least for certain functions -- that is, some touch-senses are detected/managed the arm itself, and are never reported back to the central brain.
     

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