Clifton Ragsdale reveals why octopuses are such successful predators

Clifton Ragsdale of the University of Chicago is researching the nervous system of the octopus, which is a successful predator partly because it has excellent eyesight--the best of any invertebrate. The octopus's excellent eyesight enables it to visually zero in and focus on prey.

What's more, each of the octopus's eight agile, boneless arms has about 44 million nerve cells (or almost 10 percent of all of its neurons). These arm neurons are connected to the animal's brain.

When an octopus spots a tasty-looking fish, the information it collects about this prey travels from the animal's eye to its brain. This information then travels through its arm neurons to help these soft-bodied contortionists determine how to snatch the prey.

Provided by the National Science Foundation

Runtime: 3:35

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