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A Sucker Bet

 

Next time you’re in need of a friendly bar bet, consider the following:

Scientists have known for years that octopuses can taste what their arms touch.

Thanks to a team of Harvard biologists armed with bricks, Velcro and an array of genetic tools, we now know why:  The cells of their suckers are covered with tiny detector proteins that respond to chemical cues to help them determine whether an object is useless, dangerous or would make a good snack.

Read more here and find out why, although humans have nothing quite comparable in their anatomy, being an octopus might be roughly akin to exploring the world with eight giant, sucker-studded tongues!

Bonus Reading:  For fans of the fascinating film, “My Octopus Teacher,” currently on Netflix, you may also be interested in this behind-the-scenes NPR interview!

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