Whatever an octopus touches, it gets a taste of it! How? Thanks to a nerve cell in them.
So, researchers recently found this nerve cell in octopus’ arms. It allows their suckers to taste whatever they touch! Now, this taste doesn’t fully mean the taste of food as we humans know it.
The suckers, or suction cups, attached to the octopus’s eight arms help the octopus catch prey, move around the sea by touching things, and even figure out whether something is food or poison.
“Yikes! I’m glad my feet don’t have that nerve cell. I’d never want to taste the floor,” cried Felix with a crooked face.
You can say at least 75% of these nerve cells are found in its arms rather than the brain! So, they sort of touch, process (figure out) what they’ve touched, and make a decision on their own about what to do with the object they’ve touched, instead of waiting for the brain to guide them.
So, when an octopus is out on a hunt, its eight arms immediately get to work and start touching corals, rocks, and everything around them. Once its suckers pick something, the special cells in them will taste that thing and think, “Mmmm… is this food we’re tasting? Ah, no it’s slimy seaweed. Throw it.”
Or when it’s a good day, it may go like, “Mmmm… what have we here? A delicious crab! Grab it tight and don’t let it go!”
But this doesn’t happen one at a time. All eight arms of the octopus keep tasting and discarding things and even taking the animal forward.
If you’ve seen the Oswald cartoon, you’ll know how octopuses multitask using all their arms.