Octopuses never fail to surprise us. Learning about fascinating sea creatures like octopuses is a passion to some people. They are attractive, knowing that they have blue blood and a doughnut-shaped brain. However, these aren’t the most unusual things, as there is also an interesting fact about its heart.
So, how many hearts do octopuses have? Perhaps you find this question about octopuses fascinating. And who knows, you will swim near them one day – that’s why have your mind prepared and find out more about how many hearts do Octopus has. In this blog, you will discover the heart of octopuses and some interesting facts about them.
How Many Hearts Does an Octopus Have?
Octopuses are known for having three hearts. This is believed because they have blue blood; 1 heart pumps blood to the entire body and is large, while the other two pump blood to the octopus gills. And why do octopuses have blue blood? It’s because they have already adapted to cold, a copper-rich protein, low oxygen water through using hemocyanin.
The reason for having these three impressive hearts that octopuses have is probably because of the unusual blood composition. Unlike vertebrates that come with haemoglobin rich in iron and packed with red blood cells, octopuses are rich in copper haemocyanin. It dissolved directly in their blood, and that is why they have blue blood.
Hemoglobin is more efficient than haemocyanin as an oxygen transporter. The three hearts could help in compensating the pumping of the blood at higher pressure to the entire body of the octopus. This supplies them with an active lifestyle.
Understanding Why Octopuses have 3 Hearts
Now that you find answers to how many hearts do octopuses have, it’s also better to know more about why they have three hearts.
Octopuses need three hearts that work together for them to be alive. It’s amazing how humans only have one heart to be alive, and octopuses come with three. But why do octopuses have three hearts, and do they need all these three to survive?
Unlike mammals and humans that only have one heart, hemocyanin makes their blood thicker. This means they will need more pressure, and therefore they need more hearts to help the blood pump from their gills and their entire body.
And though octopuses need three hearts to pump blood, the three hearts do not do the same thing. Two of the hearts are located near their two gills and are called branchial hearts. The other heart, called the systematic heart, is responsible for pumping oxygenated blood through the rest of the body.
Getting to Know the Hearts of Octopuses
Perhaps you’ve got a better understanding of how many hearts do octopuses have; this time, let us have a closer look at each of their hearts, what these hearts do, and the rest of the things we can learn about them.
2 Branchial Hearts
The two hearts of octopuses found next to their gills are used for respiration purposes. They are called branchial hearts because they pump blood up to their gills – that’s why they are also called “gill hearts”.
Unlike humans that come with a heart that pumps oxygen-rich blood to their lungs, octopuses need 2 hearts because their main heart can only pump blood throughout their body. They need extra hearts to pump blood to their gills.
And if you’re wondering about the size of these 2 hearts, you must be aware that there are about 300 species of octopuses worldwide. Some species are small, and you can just hold them on your palm, just like the Atlantic pygmy octopus. However, other species, such as the giant Pacific octopus, can also grow for about 16 feet, so it is expected that the size of their heart is bigger.
1 Systematic Heart
This is the main heart of the octopus and pumps oxygen that carries blood around the body of an octopus. And just like the gill hearts, the size of this heart also varies from the size of the octopus.
Other Facts about the Hearts of Octopuses
There are still a lot of things that we are not aware of about octopus’s hearts. However, since we know a little about them, here are some of the interesting facts you probably should know about.
- Some studies found out that the systematic heart of octopuses stops beating for more than one hour without negative effects that can be noticed quickly. It becomes tired quickly. And as a result, they would prefer just to crawl instead.
- Even if octopuses come with three hearts, their hearts can still work the same way as the human heart does.
- Each of the branchial hearts of an octopus comes with only one chamber.
- Octopuses are among the few invertebrates that come with a closed circulatory system. This is to support their energy-intensive jet propulsion movement. And because of this, they would probably need more than one heart to support respiration and circulation.
- The heartbeat of an octopus starts in the heart itself, and it is not being controlled by special nerves, not like most invertebrates.
- Octopus can no longer have more than 3 hearts because each heart carries out a specific function. Any heart addition would never be necessary.
So, how many hearts do octopus have that must surprise you? Just because they have three hearts does not mean they’re scary and not normal. It does not mean that they can love 3x as much. What we can do is appreciate their existence and learn how to take care of them. Yes, they may appear scary because of their appearance, but remember, they are also part of the ocean that must be protected.
In the end, it’s always the care and love we show for these creatures. And one way of protecting them is by protecting their habitat, the ocean. So, we should practice ways on how to take good care of the ocean. That way, we are not only protecting octopuses but also all other sea creatures.
Join us here at ATOLEA Jewelry in protecting and preserving the Ocean and all of the marine life including the octopuses. Part of your purchase on us from our Ocean-inspired jewelry goes to Ocean conservation charities which aim to save the Ocean.
So dive into our wide selection of Ocean-inspired jewelry now and be one with us in sharing our passion for the Ocean by wearing it!