Octopuses have been making headlines for decades with their incredible intelligence. The more scientists learn about the species, the more there is to be impressed about!
Just take one of the latest discoveries, for example. Researchers recently learned that octopuses can edit their own genetic codes on the fly to better adjust to cold water.
I live in the Pacific Northwest, and I can’t count the number of times I’ve wished I could better adjust to cold water. Between the oceans and rivers, there are plenty of swimming opportunities, but the water is incredibly brisk. It takes a lot of mental stamina to go for a swim in the water, so if I could edit my genetic code to better adapt, I definitely would.
It seems that’s exactly what octopuses can do, which is nothing short of incredible.
A research paper on the discovery titled, “Chilling with cephalopods: Temperature-responsive RNA editing in octopus and squid,” was published in the journal Cell earlier this month.
According to the paper, octopuses can and do edit genetic information (namely, the RNA in their brains) to better adapt to environment changes, like water temperature.
The paper further notes that it’s not just octopuses who have this incredible ability, but squid do as well!
Cephalopods are truly amazing.
While there’s still a lot to be learned about octopuses and how they function, the more scientists discover, the more we can appreciate how advanced of a species they are.