In 2015, Octopus bimaculoides became the first cephalopod to have its genome fully sequenced. Like other members of the cephalopod class, it can instantaneously change color, regrow arms, and uses jet propulsion to move through the water. Its eight arms exhibit incredible flexibility and dexterity. Scientists at the MBL study Octopus bimaculoides as a model for development, neuroscience, and behavior.
- Its arms are lined with hundreds of suckers that can “taste.”
- Females tend to their eggs for 2-4 months before they hatch.
- It has three hearts, two gills, blue blood, and a donut-shaped brain.
(ID Card Photo Credit: Yen Chyi Liu | Equipment: Olympus E-P2)
More about the MBL work on the California two-spot octopus:
The Wiley Octopus: King of Flexibility | MBL.edu
An Octopus Could be the Next Model Organism | Scientific American
The Amazing Flexible Octopus | MBL SciShoots
The amazing brains and morphing skin of octopuses and other cephalopods | TED2019
Publications from the MBL
E.B. Lane Kennedy, Kendra C. Buresch, Preethi Boinapally, and Roger T. Hanlon (2020) Octopus Arms Exhibit Exceptional Flexibility. Scientific Reports, doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-77873-7
Albertin, C., Simakov, O., Mitros, T. et al. The octopus genome and the evolution of cephalopod neural and morphological novelties. Nature 524, 220–224 (2015). doi.org/10.1038/nature14668
van Giesen L, Kilian PB, Allard CAH, Bellono NW. (2020). Molecular Basis of Chemotactile Sensation in Octopus. Cell. doi.org/10.1016/j.cell.2020.09.008
Shigeno, S., Parnaik, R., Albertin, C.B. et al. Evidence for a cordal, not ganglionic, pattern of cephalopod brain neurogenesis. Zoological Lett 1, 26 (2015). doi.org/10.1186/s40851-015-0026-z
Lophotrochozoa is one of the major groups within the animal kingdom. It comprises: segmented worms, mollusks (the phylum that includes snails, squid, octopuses, and clams) as well as lophophores, a group of animals that include clam-like organisms known brachiopods and bryozoans, sedentary colony animals sometimes referred to as “moss animals.” Learn more
Meet the Other Lophotrochozoan Organisms
What is MBL March Madness?
Based on the March Madness NCAA basketball tournament, during MBL March Madness, popular MBL organisms face off for your votes. YOU have the opportunity to decide what organism is crowned victorious by voting for your favorite organisms in a series of head-to-head match-ups. Voting will take place on the MBL social media channels from March 29 – April 7.
Learn more and download a bracket at mbl.edu/march-madness