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octopus arms

How Octopuses Co-ordinate Their Arms

Researchers from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem have revealed how octopuses co-ordinate their eight arms when crawling

Analysing hours of video material, the research team found that the animal's tentacles are being controlled independently from its body orientation which means that the octopus can push itself into any direction at any time without turning its body.

The footage also suggests that there is no obvious pattern to the movements and the octopus simply chooses which arm to use to push forward. Octopuses push themselves forward through a thrusting movement created by shortening and prolonging its arms. 

'It only has to decide which arms to use, and not how to use them,' Dr Guy Levy, one of the researchers involved in the study, said. 'It's a very simple solution to a very complicated problem.'

The findings may help scientist and engineers to develop robotic arms.  

The was published in Current Biology on Thursday.

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