The Intriguing Arm of the Octopus

Arm of the Octopus

An Octopus is a sea animal known for its rounded and soft body, bulging eyes and eight long arms. This sea animal is regarded as the most intelligent invertebrate.

According to Scientists, an Octopus has the ability to learn from experience and maintain long and short term memory. It has also been observed to use tools as intelligently as humans would.

The Arm of the Octopus

Ever thought about how an Octopus manages to arrange its eight arms, all moving around at once? Have you ever asked if these arms came about as a result of evolution or were they just simply designed?

The answer is not farfetched. Each arm of an Octopus has a brain of its own (independent of the central brain), with hundreds of suckers running down each arm. This enables the individual arms to move independently of each other.

The central brain tells the arms in what direction it should move and how fast it should go, but instructions on how to reach its destination is embedded in each arm, controlled by the individual brains and the millions of neutrons in each arm.

An Octopus is capable of untying a knot, open bottles and wrapping their prey no matter the shape and size, just by using its arms.

The Octopus can grab, hold, and squeeze objects with its eight long and flexible arms even in tiny spaces. The Octopus also has the ability to stiffen different sections of its arms when necessary.

An Octopus also possesses the amazing ability of re-growing lost arms. This is made possible by the presence of Protein Acetylcholinesterase (AChE). It is actually difficult to find an Octopus with fewer than eight arms, so as soon as an arm is lost or damaged, a re-growth process begins, to regain lost or damaged arm.

Arm of the Octopus

Unlike other invertebrates, the re-grown arm of an Octopus is basically as good as new and is not of a poorer quality.  It usually takes about 100 days to re-grow a lost or damaged arm and for that re-grown arm to have same strength as the original.     

Amazed by the tremendous ability of the arm of the Octopus, Robotic Engineers have inspired to develop a similar robotic arm that is soft and flexible to help doctors operate in tight spaces in the body by using minimally invasive surgical techniques. This kind of equipment makes it possible to operate on patients who would have to undergo more complex procedures.

Such ingenious robotic arm has already been developed and is being used in simulated operations. One part of the 5inch arm can manipulate soft internal organs by lifting and holding them without causing any damage to the internal organs, while another part performs the actual operation.     

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