New research has stunned scientists on just how vastly different this creature is from anything else in the world.
We recently reported that the genome of the octopus had been fully sequenced by scientists, but what has come to light in recent days is just how shockingly different this creature is from anything else on this planet.
A team of researchers, including scientists from UC Berkeley, have sequenced all the genes of the octopus and have come to a remarkable new understanding of the complex creature’s genetics, according to an SFGate report.
The nervous system of the octopus, they found, differs greatly from the human or any other invertebrate, a finding that was determined by analyzing the genome of the California two-spot octopus, which is a common species found on the coast of California. It, like all octopuses, it part of the cephalopod family, which also includes squids and cuttlefish and is about 500 million years old.
Based on this new research, scientists have pinpointed a huge expansion in the family of nervous system genes at some point in its evolution, which is how the animal developed into the complex and completely bizarre creature it is today — one that resembles no other invertebrates.
So while the octopus may not be an alien from outer space, its weird genetic evolution certainly makes it seem that way, and it may have been the first intelligent being on the planet, long predating humans, according to a Sputnik report.
Octopuses have been known to use tools and construct shelters, intelligent activities ascribed to just a handful of creatures on the planet. The research team determined that the octopus genome has about 10,000 more genes than humans, a total of about 33,000.
The research was published in the journal Nature.