Scientific Am Article

Barnstorm

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http://www.scientificamerican.com/print_version.cfm?articleID=00070FF0-5E68-120A-9E6883414B7FFE9F

February 10, 2005

Octopus Borrows Vertebrate Strategy for Lifting

When it comes time to perform difficult tasks, octopuses do their best impression of humans, according to a new report. Results published today in Nature indicate that the soft-bodied creatures move their arms as if they were jointed to lift objects.
German Sumbre of the Hebrew University in Israel and his colleagues analyzed a hundred videotapes of octopuses using their flexible arms to fetch food items. They found that the animals formed "quasi-joints" that resembled those of the shoulders, elbows and wrists of humans. When an octopus grasped a food reward with its suckers and brought it toward its mouth, these joints formed at points that divided the arm into three sections. Two of the sections were of similar lengths, which remained relatively constant over all the trials. The set-up is similar to the human arm, which has upper and forearms of roughly equal lengths, the scientists say.

There are a large number of ways for a flexible arm to transport food, so it is surprising that the octopus uses a method so similar to the limbs of animals with rigid skeletons, the authors note. Their findings, they conclude, suggest "that an articulated limb may provide an optimal solution for achieving precise, point-to-point movements." --Sarah Graham
 

Fujisawas Sake

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Barnstorm said:
Their findings, they conclude, suggest "that an articulated limb may provide an optimal solution for achieving precise, point-to-point movements." --Sarah Graham
Well now, that's a bit of a stretch, isn't it?? I mean, what about a measurment of the energetics involved with this movement? Given the lever/fulcrum way our muscles and bones work, and given the biomechanics of the octopus arm, which works more energetically efficiently? And whats to say they didn't develop that system first?

Gee. Seems like a way to make inverts look somehow like they want to be like us. "oooh, scary vertebrate with his IMMENSE spinal column and deuterostome lineage - you are gods among the zoological community" :notworth: .... LOL

Maybe its a case of "hectocotylus envy"...

Sushi and Sake,

John
 

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