Recent research has suggested that the octopus’ tentacles are controlled independently of the main body. Octopuses, like crows and parrots, are known as animals with advanced intelligence. There have also been reports of octopus escaping from the aquarium on its own and returning to the sea.
But Dominic Sivitilli, who studies octopus behavioral neurology at the University of Washington in Seattle, says octopuses provide information that is completely alien to vertebrates such as humans and birds.
The research team conducted an experiment to observe octopus behavior. In the experiment, we first put stones, lego blocks, and snacks in a tank containing octopus and photographed the tentacles of the octopus reacting to it. Then, the octopus’s behavior was analyzed using a program that tracks tentacle movements.
As a result, the octopus’s tentacles show different movements at the same time. As a result of analyzing the behavior and neural activity of the octopus, it was confirmed that it reacts immediately to the stimulus acquired from the tentacle sucker and moves independently. This is possible because of the nervous system structure surrounding the octopus’s body.
Of the 500 million neurons in the octopus, 350 million are known to exist in the tentacles. The octopus tentacle contains a cluster of neurons called ganglions. Because these nerves process information independently of the brain and control the movement of the tentacles, it becomes possible to respond quickly to sea food and natural enemies.
The reason why the eight legs can perform tasks such as capturing food by swimming in a certain direction without falling into confusion is because the tentacles share positional relationships and information. In this regard, the research team describes the written neural network as a distributed network.
The results of this study were presented during 2019 at the Society of Space Biology held in Seattle in June. The research team is hoping that the study of creatures breathing on the sea floor will be a hint to explain the mystery of the universe. In fact, this is not the first research to connect the octopus and the universe. In the field of biology, there are groups that seriously examine the theory that octopuses and squids were born under the influence of alien creatures. Related information can be found here.