Octopus possesses peculiar intelligence, constantly changing skin and soft body (driven by three hearts), which can cope with all kinds of mischief. Their camouflage technology can keep them hidden, while they use their noodle-like limbs to surreptitiously explore the surrounding environment, and everyone has their own mind. With them, these aliens can reach out and taste you.
Now, we may have an idea of how this touch taste function works.
When their arms stretched across the sea floor and probed with thousands of independently moving finger-like suckers, octopuses were using independent taste and unique tactile cells to capture the sensory picture of the surrounding environment.
Harvard University molecular biologist Lena van Giesen and colleagues discovered these chemosensory cells in two-spot octopuses in California-these cells can detect molecules like smell and taste cells.octopus) The skin of the sucker.
These chemotactic cells have finer branched ends and can send out signals continuously (strong firing), but they rely on being close enough to touch, not like our tongue. Chemosensory cells can respond to a variety of flavors, including chemicals found in cephalopod inks and “warning” chemicals from potentially toxic prey.
Molecular biologist Nicholas Bellono told Science Letters: “This is very useful for octopuses to detect prey hidden in seafloor crevices or in areas inaccessible to traditional sensory organs.”
In the skin of the sucker, the research team also found the expected and more familiar mechanosensory cells with stubby branches at their ends. These batteries only trigger when they start contact (phase trigger) before the signal is exhausted.
This signal allows the octopus to distinguish whether they are touching an inanimate object (the signal will stop on a stationary contact) or entwining prey, in which case the octopus will respond to the lost and restored contact and send out the signal again.
“We found that octopuses use stereotyped touch movements to explore their environment, which are significantly altered by different contacts. [molecules that trigger the chemotactile receptors]”, the researchers explained in the paper.
They master these skills by observing animals, conducting tests, and looking at the proteins expressed in specific sucker cell genes. This method is called transcriptomics, and it allows researchers to understand cell functions by analyzing the proteins that are actively used in the cell.
The research team found that certain chemotactic cells have a strong activating effect on fish and crab extracts. But they suggest that in addition to finding prey, this ability to touch the taste may cause the disgusting taste to quickly recede. They also observed how octopus ink shuts down the taste abilities of the limbs.
Bellono said: “Our findings are surprising because water chemistry has long been related to distant water-based signals through chemicals dissolved in water.” “Our research shows that octopuses and other potential aquatic animals can also Insoluble molecules were detected in a contact-dependent manner.”
The research team found chemotactic receptor genes in three different octopus species, but Rebecca Tarvin, a biologist at the University of California who was not involved in the study, explained that other cephalopods For example, squid, does not seem to use suckers to taste their environment in the same way.
Bellono said: “We are very interested in how this unique sensorimotor system evolves in other cephalopods,” he explained, and many questions are currently being explored regarding their evolution, physiology and use.
When they carefully examined a few genes related to special taste cells, there were hints in the genomes of the remaining cells, among which nearly 100 genes related to sensation have yet to be identified.
Bellono said that the miniature “brain” on the octopus’s arm must have excellent ability to filter information from many highly specialized receptors. This may help explain why two-thirds of the octopus’s neurons are in its arm.
Therefore, octopuses essentially have eight brains and dexterous arm tongues, allowing them to taste food semi-independently from the subject in the dark depth of the ocean house. How pleasant and weird life will become?
This research is published in cell.