6 Arms, 6 Arms!

Scientists have discovered that octopuseseses have only two legs. And six arms!!

"A study by scientists at Sea Life centres across Europe found that the invertebrates move across the sea bed using their two rearmost limbs, leaving the other six free for the important business of feeding."

Ta da!

Note: if you encounter the creature to the left (blue ringed octopus) whilst snorkeling off the coast of Australia (HQ of evil venomous things), snorkel away very quickly. Part of the pretty but deadly animal group*.

With a beak that can penetrate a wet-suit, they are one little cute creature to definitely look at BUT Don't touch.

The bite might be painless, but this octopus injects a neuromuscular paralyzing venom. The venom contains some maculotoxin, a poison more violent than any found on land animals. The nerve conduction is blocked and neuromuscular paralysis is followed by death. The victim might be saved if artificial respiration starts before marked cyanosis and hypotension develops. The blue-ringed octopus is the size of a golf ball but its poison is powerful enough to kill an adult human in minutes. There's no known antidote. The only treatment is hours of heart massage and artificial respiration until the poison has worked its way out of your system.

The venom contains tetrodotoxin, which blocks sodium channels and causes motor paralysis and occasionally respiratory failure. Though with fixed dilated pupils, the senses of the patients are often intact. The victims are aware but unable to respond.

Although the painless bite can kill an adult, injuries have only occurred when an octopus has been picked out of its pool and provoked or stepped on.

  • Onset of nausea.
  • Hazy Vision. ( Within seconds you are blind.)
  • Loss of sense of touch, speech and the ability to swallow.
  • Within 3 minutes, paralysis sets in and your body goes into respiratory arrest.

The poison is not injected but is contained in the octopus's saliva, which comes from two glands each as big as its brain. Poison from the one is used on its main prey, crabs, and is relatively harmless to humans. Poison from the other gland serves as defense against predators. The blue-ringed octopus either secretes the poison in the vicinity of its prey, waits until it is immobile and then devours it, or it jumps out and envelops the prey in its 8 tentacles (two of which are legs, remember!) and bites it.


Anonymous said...

beaches where these little guys hang out normally have blue bottles hanging up as and indicator of evilness. Australia also has the only venoumous squid and cuttle fish. The squis is the pajama squid and the flamboyant cuttle fish.

Anonymous said...

I remember getting those symptoms frequently, in fact everytime I walked into the exam room....