Why is the blood of octopuses blue?

2 mins read

Octopuses are really very interesting creatures. Even their neurons are not only in their heads, but spread all over their bodies. It is known that there are 100 billion neurons in the human brain. Octopuses have around 500 million.

Their most well-known ability is that they can quickly adapt to their environment and change colour and shape in as little as one second. The secret of this marvellous ability is hidden in their blood.

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The pigment called haemocyanin, which gives the octopus’s blood a blue colour, also enables it to survive in harsh conditions. The haemocyanin protein in the blood contains copper atoms, unlike iron in us. Since octopuses have three hearts, they need more oxygen than normal.

The copper atoms in haemocyanin also have the ability to bind with a large number of oxygen atoms. Therefore, this substance, which gives their blood its colour, is able to meet the oxygen needs of their bodies at a high level. Even if it cannot obtain oxygen from its environment at that moment, it stores this need abundantly in its blood.

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Another benefit of this protein is its ability to survive even at temperatures so low that they can be fatal for many organisms. Researchers think that octopuses are a species that cannot migrate far away, which is why they developed the blue blood adaptation. Thus, it easily adapts even to harsh conditions and does not need to change its location.

 

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