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The octopus is able to 'see' using its skin


Posted on Thursday, 21 May, 2015 | Comment icon 10 comments

The octopus seems to have the ability to see just about everywhere at once. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 3.0 Eistreter
Scientists have discovered that the humble octopus is able to use its skin to sense light around it.
With its eight suction-cupped limbs and skin that is able to change color to mimic its surroundings, the octopus is certainly one of the more unusual creatures to live in the depths of the sea.

Now thanks to the results of a new study published in the Journal of Experimental Biology however these remarkable cephalopods have been found to possess yet another unique feature to help set them apart from the rest of the ocean's wildlife - their skin contains the same pigment proteins that can be found in eyes.
What this means is that the octopus can literally sense light through its skin, an advantage that enables it to see its surroundings and camouflage its appearance accordingly.

To change color the octopus possesses a unique mechanism which uses thousands of special cells called chromatophores found just beneath the surface of its skin.

Perhaps most impressive of all however is the fact that it can do all this while color blind.

Source: The Guardian | Comments (10)


Tags: Octopus


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Razer on 21 May, 2015, 12:23
Read more here: http://www.iflscienc...hrough-its-skin They are such amazing smart little buggers, good thing for us they are not social and don't pass on knowledge to their young, they could take over the world! They even learn by observation.
Comment icon #2 Posted by She-ra on 21 May, 2015, 12:50
They are such amazing smart little buggers, good thing for us they are not social and don't pass on knowledge to their young, they could take over the world! They even learn by observation. Oh wow! The level of understanding in the video is amazing! Thanks for sharing that Very cool. I think you're right - they COULD take over the world Wow.
Comment icon #3 Posted by Razer on 21 May, 2015, 13:00
Oh wow! The level of understanding in the video is amazing! Thanks for sharing that Very cool. I think you're right - they COULD take over the world Wow. They are so cool, my dad kept one as a pet in a small tank just a few feet away from a much larger tank with saltwater fish. That little guy did everything he could to escape and try to get into the larger tank with fish. Many times I had to pick him up off the floor as he was making his way to the other tank. He clearly knew what he was after.
Comment icon #4 Posted by She-ra on 21 May, 2015, 13:10
They are so cool, my dad kept one as a pet in a small tank just a few feet away from a much larger tank with saltwater fish. That little guy did everything he could to escape and try to get into the larger tank with fish. Many times I had to pick him up off the floor as he was making his way to the other tank. He clearly knew what he was after. I love it!! What a smart creature I love anything to do with water and the sea. Thanks for sharing. The only story I have to share is that I got *inked* once trying to get one back in the ocean. He got caught up in our boat like 4 feet off shore. Tried ... [More]
Comment icon #5 Posted by BeastieRunner on 22 May, 2015, 16:42
They also have sex by having the male insert his penis arm into the female's head (mantle). They are a crazy and magnificent creature!
Comment icon #6 Posted by Zalmoxis on 22 May, 2015, 22:38
I wonder though how the octopus percieves the data from it's skin. It already has a set of eyes as shown in the illustration above. Maybe the skin data doesn't reach the consciousness part of the processing in the brain, only to react to the environment subconsciously.
Comment icon #7 Posted by BeastieRunner on 22 May, 2015, 23:28
I wonder though how the octopus percieves the data from it's skin. It already has a set of eyes as shown in the illustration above. Maybe the skin data doesn't reach the consciousness part of the processing in the brain, only to react to the environment subconsciously. The article theorizes that the systems are independent in case the octopus is distracted/unconscious/etc. and doesn't see a potential threat/change/etc. so the skin will still alter with camouflage to help it blend into its surroundings. The researchers managed to demonstrate that the camouflage was independent of the CNS and ap... [More]
Comment icon #8 Posted by She-ra on 22 May, 2015, 23:45
The article theorizes that the systems are independent in case the octopus is distracted/unconscious/etc. and doesn't see a potential threat/change/etc. so the skin will still alter with camouflage to help it blend into its surroundings. The researchers managed to demonstrate that the camouflage was independent of the CNS and appeared to operate automatically. So it is more probable than not that the "skin sight" is subconscious. Absolutely fascinating. Thanks.
Comment icon #9 Posted by Rhino666 on 25 May, 2015, 10:15
That's a damn good article. It makes you realise just how useless a human is if you take away all tools. Can't fly, limited swimming, gets lost, can't navigate well.etc etc
Comment icon #10 Posted by clare256 on 28 May, 2015, 16:20
Octopi are aliens. Their blood is copper-based.


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