Octopus tentacles have a sense of taste

Octopuses know if something is being eaten without even looking at it – the tentacles themselves have a sense of taste, reveals a series of experiments at Harvard. brain, and even contain two-thirds of the neurons of the entire nervous system. Even if cut off from the rest of the body, the tentacles can capture objects, possibly recognizing them. They are called “chemotactic” receptors because they allow the tentacles to move to the source of a chemical stimulus, or instead avoid it. Receptors like the octopus have not been found in any other group of the animal kingdom to date, the researchers point out. They were found in the first layer of cells of each suction cup, and the experiments showed that they react to substances that do not dissolve in water. The researchers speculate that such substances may be present in the skin of other species that octopuses feed on. In other words, the chemotactic receptors inform the tentacle whether what it touches is eaten or not. but also some taste ” says Nicola Bellono, head of the study. In the first phase, the researchers introduced the chemotactic receptor genes into frog eggs, as well as human cell cultures. They then exposed the modified cells to a variety of chemicals, some of which were soluble and some insoluble in water. The unexpected result was that the receptors are activated only by molecules with low solubility. In the next phase, the research team experimented with live octopuses in the aquarium. It was then found that the only substances to which the animals reacted were terpenoids, a group of natural substances that do not dissolve easily in water (and are responsible, among other things, for the smell of eucalyptus or the taste of cinnamon). “We believe that because these molecules do not dissolve in water, they may be on the surface of octopus prey or anything else it touches,” says Bellono. says, are needed to identify other natural substances that can activate chemotactic receptors. The mystery may not be completely solved, but one thing is for sure: poor crabs have no hope when tentacles approach. Follow it on Google News and be the first to know all the newsSee all the latest News from Greece and the World, at

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