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tentacle dexterity in octopus sp.


Larval Mass
Mar 8, 2006
Hi guys:

I was just looking for an article I had seen on this site a few years ago concerning the motor function and coordiantive learning in octopus. I seem to remember the article mentioning something about octopus sp. showing a form of "ambidexterity," which blows my mind and contradicts something I had read in an earlier work of Jacques Cousteau which stated that arms 1 and 2 are the "main" arms used for manipulation by benthic octopus species. Could someone help me out? Is this article still around in your archives, or does anyone know the details of this research? RSVP

Don Pulpo:squidwar:


Sep 26, 2005
Don't octopuses have a couple of "favourite" arms? Sure they have ganglia in each one that allows almost independant movement, but don't they prefer to use one or two specifically? Damn, I should've added that to my dissertation; surely can't be coincedence that octopuses have highly dextrous arms and very multipurpose suckers as opposed to squids and cuttles who's suckers are only used for capture, and their arms aint as dextrous as octopuses, can it? Well, at least I'm presuming that decapod arms aren't as dextrous.


Steve O'Shea

TONMO Supporter
Nov 19, 2002
We had a rather interesting discussion some years ago as to whether there was any right- and left-handed business going on with octopus. It gets somewhat off topic towards the end (this is normal for us, :wink: ), but is the start of something very interesting (there could have been more elsewhere). Click here

..... I wonder if Sir Dr Ummmmm........ ever finished that 2nd degree?

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