Scientists discover surprising similarities between human and octopus brains

(ORDO NEWS) — Recently, researchers have found similarities between humans and octopuses. This may seem a little strange, but not for scientists.

A paper by a team of researchers led by Nikolaus Rajewski at the Max Delbrück Center showed that the evolution of octopuses is associated with a dramatic expansion of microRNA variation.

The last known common ancestor of humans and cephalopods is a rudimentary worm-like animal with low intelligence and spotted eyes, scientists have said.

Invertebrates have not evolved the vast and complex brains with varied cognitive abilities that vertebrates, such as primates and other mammals, have. Cephalopods are the only exception.

What do humans have in common with octopuses?

According to Professor Nikolaus Rajewski of the Max Delbrück Center Institute for Medical Systems Biology in Berlin, the results of the study could mean that microRNAs play a crucial role in the development of a complex brain.

“This is what connects us to the octopus!” Rayevsky says.

These cephalopods are known to be RNA-editing, meaning they often use certain enzymes that can recode their RNA. This got Raevsky wondering: Do octopuses have any other RNA abilities besides being skilled editors?

Octopuses are the only species of invertebrates that have no equal in terms of evolution. They possess a main nervous system and a peripheral nervous system, the latter being able to function independently.

Even if the octopus loses a tentacle, the remaining part remains mobile and sensitive to touch.

The fact that octopuses consciously use their tentacles as tools to open their shells may be why they are the only animals to have developed such complex brain functions.

In addition, octopuses exhibit additional intelligence traits such as curiosity and memory.

They can identify people and even favor certain things over others. Because their skin color and texture change during sleep, researchers now believe they even dream.

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