Nature Blog Network

Friday, July 25, 2008


When directed to the Pink Tentacle for some potentially cool reef spying equipment by Deep Sea News, I, of course, was drawn to the entry further down about a 96 armed octopus.

All the offspring were normal...but... here's another look at the 96 armed momma:

Check out the Pink Tentacle for more mutant Japanese octopi, or if you read Japanese...the Shima Marineland Aquarium has a few log entries on cephs.

I did a quick search at TONMO and found that though seemingly very rare, this branching is not entirely unreported in the literature.

Unfortunately all the articles are unavailable through my institution! If anyone has access to any of these...

Okada, Y.K. 1935. An octopus with branched arms and mode of branching. Annot. Zool. Japon. 15: 5-23.

Okada, Y.K. 1937. An occurence of branched arms in the decapod cephalopod, Sepia esculenta Hoyle. Annot. Zool. Japon. 17(1): 93-94.

Okada, Y.K. 1965a. On Japanese octopuses with branched arms, with special reference to their captures from 1884 to 1964. Proc. Jap. Acad. 41(7): 618-623.

Okada, Y.K. 1965b. Rule of arm-branching in Japanese octopuses with branched arms. Proc. Jap. Acad. 41(7): 624-629.

Smith, E.A. 1907. Notes on an "Octopus" with branching arms. Ann. Mag. Natur. Hist. 7: 407-411.


  1. Ohhhh - this triggers an explosion of cool hypotheses about the developmental genetics of branching morphogenesis and dorsoventral/anterior-posterior patterning in cephalopod limb development.

  2. I agree with Karen James, only in strictly layman's terms: like, Wow, man,


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