Might Alien Life Evolve Like the Incredible Octopus?
by Natalie Shoemaker Consider the octopus: a creepy skeleton-less creature with limbs that have regenerative properties and a mind of their own. Its structure — inside and out — makes it like no other animal on earth. As a part of the Mollusca phylum, the octopus seems so far removed from its clam cousin. Neurobiologist Benny Hochner, from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in Israel, talked about this oddity in an interview with Alison Abbott from Nature: “Very simple molluscs like the clam — they just sit in the mud, filtering food. Scientists have marveled at the octopus for years, and now they've taken the time to delve deeper into its biology by decoding its genome. "The octopus appears so utterly different from all other animals, even ones it's related to, that the British zoologist Martin Wells famously called it an alien. “It’s important for us to know the genome, because it gives us insights into how the sophisticated cognitive skills of octopuses evolved.”
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