American Oceans

How Many Hearts Does an Octopus Have?

Have you ever wondered how many hearts an octopus has? These fascinating creatures are known for their intelligence, camouflage abilities, and unique physical characteristics, including their multiple hearts.

Octopus vulgaris

Octopuses are part of the invertebrate group of animals called cephalopods, which also includes squids and cuttlefish.

They are found in all of the world’s oceans, from shallow coral reefs to the depths of the deep sea.

Anatomy of an Octopus

Octopuses have a unique anatomy that sets them apart from other animals. They have a soft body that is enclosed in a mantle, which contains their organs.

an octopus on the deck of a boat

Their arms are used for movement and manipulation, and they have a beak that is used for feeding.

The Circulatory System of an Octopus

Octopuses have an open circulatory system, which means that their blood is not contained in vessels. Instead, their blood flows freely through their body cavities.

an octopus swimming underwater

Octopuses have two branchial hearts, which are located near their gills, and one systemic heart, which is located at the back of their mantle.

The branchial hearts pump blood through the gills, where it is oxygenated, and the systemic heart pumps oxygenated blood to the rest of the body.

Octopuses have blue blood because their blood contains hemocyanin instead of hemoglobin.

Hemocyanin is a copper-containing protein that binds with oxygen to transport it through the body. This gives octopuses their unique blue color.

The Role of Hearts in Octopus Survival

The multiple hearts of an octopus play a vital role in their survival. The branchial hearts pump deoxygenated blood from the body to the gills, where it is oxygenated.

a mimic octopus underwater

The systemic heart then pumps oxygenated blood to the rest of the body, providing the necessary nutrients and oxygen for the octopus to survive.

Octopuses are able to control their blood pressure by changing the size of their blood vessels.

This allows them to adjust their blood flow to different parts of their body, depending on their needs.

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