Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Australia

Octopuses have a 'favourite arm' they use to grab prey

Researchers at the University of Minnesota recorded octopuses attacking various prey and found that they preferred certain arms over others when hunting.

Forget being right or left handed! Octopuses have a favorite ARM that they use to catch prey, study finds

  • Researchers recorded California two-spot octopuses attacking various prey
  • They found that the octopuses chose to use their second arm every time
  • But their attack strategy varied depending on the type of prey.
  • The findings could be used to develop an underwater vehicle or soft robot.

Whether playing tennis or writing an essay, most people have a preferred hand.

Now a study has shown that despite having eight arms to choose from, octopuses also have favorite appendages.

Researchers at the University of Minnesota recorded octopuses attacking various prey and found that they preferred certain arms over others when hunting.

The team hopes the findings can be used to develop next-generation, highly manipulable soft robots.

“If we can learn from octopuses, then we can apply that to make an underwater vehicle or soft robot application,” said study author Dr. Trevor Wardill.

The California Two-Spot Octopus

The California two-spot octopus, often simply called ‘bimac’, is a species of octopus native to many parts of the Pacific Ocean, including coastal California.

One can identify the species by the circular blue eyespots on each side of its head.

Bimacs usually live up to two years.

They are closely related to Verrill’s two-spot octopus.

Source: Animalia

As they move across the seafloor or through the water, octopuses take advantage of their eight arms.

“Normally when you look at an octopus for a short time, nothing is repeatable,” said Dr. Wardill.

“They squirm…and they look weird in their scouting motions.”

In their new study, the team set out to understand whether octopuses used their arms randomly when hunting, or if they had any preference.

The researchers studied the California two-spot octopus, a species that lives for about two years and can grow to the size of a tennis ball.

The octopuses were housed in a tank, where they hid in SpongeBob SquarePants’ ornamental ‘dens’, with one eye facing out.

Related:  Russell Wilson is booed by Seattle Seahawks fans on his return to Lumen Field with Denver Broncos

As the researchers threw different types of prey into the tank, they recorded the octopuses’ reactions.

No matter what kind of prey came, each octopus would attack using the second arm from the middle.

Surprisingly, however, their recordings revealed that the octopuses used different attack tactics, depending on the type of prey.

The California two-spot octopus, often called simply "bimac"is a species of octopus native to many parts of the Pacific Ocean, including the California coast

The California two-spot octopus, often simply called “bimac”, is a species of octopus native to many parts of the Pacific Ocean, including coastal California.

When it was a crab, the octopuses pounced on the prey with a ‘cat movement’.

But when it came to a shrimp, they were slower with their approach, using their second arm to contact the shrimp before using the two neighboring arms to secure it.

The researchers were surprised to see these same attack strategies used in different octopuses, with all of them showing a preference for their second arm.

The team now hopes to see how the neurons facilitate these arm movements.

Flavie Bidel, lead author of the study, said: “Octopuses are extremely strong.

“For them to grab and open a door is trivial, given their dexterity.”

MYTHS ABOUT LEFT-HANDING

Professor Joshua Goodman, the Harvard economist who carried out the research, said left-handedness has long been viewed with suspicion.

Related:  Pictured: Tamani Crum's boyfriend who NYPD were trying to arrest when she was punched

“During the Middle Ages, left-handed writers were thought to be possessed by the devil, generating the modern meaning of the word sinister from sinistra, the Latin word for left-handed,” he said.

‘The English word left itself comes from the Old English lyft, meaning idle, weak or useless. The French word for left, gauche, also means clumsy or clumsy.

The popular perception that left-handers are more gifted came later, he said, encouraged by anecdotal evidence, including the fact that four of the last seven US presidents have been left-handed.

Professor Goodman suggests that what he sees as a clear cognitive deficit is due to the brain’s wiring.

The way the brain works is fundamentally related to ‘hemispheric bias’: the way different functions are associated with the left or right side of the brain.

Some scientists believe that the choice to use the left hand over the right is influenced by how this hemispheric bias developed in the womb, when the fundamental structures of the brain formed.

You may also like

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Advertisement

You May Also Like

Latest

Paul Collingwood insists England are ‘not going to change’ their aggressive approach after a disappointing first day against South Africa and backs bowlers to...

Latest

Ministers praised The Mail on Sunday’s Save Our Parks campaign as they provide a much-needed boost of £9 million for 100 new and improved...

Latest

The royal beekeeper, in an arcane tradition believed to date back centuries, has informed the hives kept on the grounds of Buckingham Palace and...

Australia

Apple is targeting September 7 for the launch of the iPhone 14, three Apple Watch models and new iPads, but the company may raise...