Octopus Briareus Paper

Octopus Briareus Paper - Biology of the Octopus Briareus...

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Biology of the Octopus Briareus: The Caribbean Reef Octopus Octopus briareus, more commonly known as the Caribbean Reef Octopus, is one of the many species that form the class Cephalopoda. These mollusks are more than just bright colored coral marine animals that are an interesting site for divers; these creatures are one of, if not, the most intelligent and perceptive of all invertebrate. In addition to their intricate body structures, the Caribbean Reef Octopus uses its exceptional senses to survive amongst the perilous beings living amidst the ocean floor. One of the most interesting characteristics of the Reef Octopus is the physical make-up of their boneless body. The octopus belongs to the phylum mollusca, meaning it is a creature with a soft, unsegmented body and lives in an aquatic or damp habitat. Octopus briareus species range in size from 40 cm to 60 cm, although they are able to grow to 100 cm at most. At heaviest, octopus briareus can reach up to 1.5 kg or 3.3 lbs. The octopus is then separated from the mollusks into the class Cephalopoda. Not only does this class include the most advanced animals of the phylum, the octopus has evolved most of the cephalopods since the class began over six hundred million years ago. The octopus differs from the rest of the cephalopods in that they have no form of inner or outer shell like the others. The term cephalopod, meaning “head-footed”, describes the octopus by referring to the fact that the animals in its’ class have arms that branch directly from their heads. The eight arms, used for almost every action the octopus performs, are attached to the head classifying the octopus as a cephalopod. More in depth of the octopus’s anatomy, the mantle sits directly
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behind the head, opposite its’ arms. The purpose of the exceedingly muscled mantle is to house all of the organs of the animal. Crammed into this structure and protected by the strong muscles are the octopus’s gills, hearts, digestive system, and reproductive glands. These powerful muscles in the mantle also aid with respiration and contraction. The gills located inside the mantle, sometimes referred to as the head, extract oxygen from the water. Once the water is passed through the gills, it is released by way of the siphon, or funnel. Of the octopus’s three hearts, two of them pump the copper-based blood through each of the two gills. The last of the three hearts pumps blood through its’ body. The blood of an octopus is seen as the color blue because of the copper-rich protein hemocyanin that it contains. The hemocyanin dissolves in the plasma versus being inside the red blood cells, like human blood, giving the blood a blue color. The hemocyanin protein is used to transport oxygen. In comparison to human blood, which contains iron-abundant hemoglobin, hemocyanin is more efficient in oxygen transportation under cold conditions with low oxygen pressure. However, under normal conditions, the iron-rich hemoglobin of vertebrates is more efficient. Because the copper-based blood is sometimes not as efficient in oxygen
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Octopus Briareus Paper - Biology of the Octopus Briareus...

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