Why Octopuses Are So Smart? Genome Reveals The Secret

Posted: Aug 16 2015, 10:07pm CDT | by , Updated: Aug 17 2015, 5:41am CDT, in News | Latest Science News


Why Octopuses Are So Smart? Genome Reveals the Secret

For the first time, genome of octopus was conducted by a group of researchers. The research provided the reason of the uncanny intelligence of the octopus

Octopus is known for its supernatural intelligence, unreal smartness and problem-solving abilities. The eight-legged creature can slip through even the tiniest gaps and can understand the function of many things. To elaborate how its complex brain evolved, a team of scientists has conducted a genome sequence of octopus for the first time.

And they came up with the conclusion that “Octopus is like no creature on earth.”

“The octopus nervous system is organized in a totally different way from ours,” stated Daniel Rokhsar, co-author of the project. “The central brain surrounds the esophagus, which is typical of invertebrates, but it also has group of neurons in the arms that can work relatively autonomously, plus huge optic lobes involved in vision.”

“The sequencing was an opportunity to look at the genome and see what we can learn about the unique brain and morphology of the octopus.”

The study was carried out be a collaborative team of researchers from University of Chicago, the University of California, Berkeley and two foreign universities. 

Coleoid cephalopods, including octopus, squid and cuttlefish, are the most intelligent invertebrates on earth. They have the largest and highly developed nervous system.

“The core developmental and neuronal gene repertoire of the octopus is broadly similar to that found across invertebrate bilaterians, except for massive expansions in two gene families previously thought to be uniquely enlarged in vertebrates: the protocadherins, which regulate neuronal development and the C2H2 superfamily of zinc-finger transcription factors.”

Cephalophods were also the first intelligent life on the planet. They emerged over 400 million years ago in ancient oceans. Few of them wiped out 66 million years ago alongside the dinosaurs. Those who existed possess remarkable intelligence and referred to as “brainiacs.” 

“The substantial expansion of a handful of gene families, along with extensive remodelling of genome linkage and repetitive content, played a critical role in the evolution of cephalopod morphological innovations, including the large and complex nervous systems.” The study concludes.

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Hira Bashir covers daily affairs around the world.




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