Author Topic: 05 Feb 2013 - Hapalochlaena - the blue ringed octopus  (Read 7740 times)

Offline beans

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05 Feb 2013 - Hapalochlaena - the blue ringed octopus
« on: February 05, 2013, 10:24:53 PM »
Another animal on the endless list of Australian animals that can kill you  :D
The blue-ringed octopi (genus Hapalochlaena) are three (or perhaps four) octopus species that live in tide pools and coral reefs in the Pacific and Indian Oceans, from Japan to Australia (mainly around southern New South Wales and South Australia[1]). They are recognized as some of the world's most venomous marine animals.[2] Despite their small size and relatively docile nature, they can prove a danger to humans. They can be recognized by their characteristic blue and black rings and yellowish skin. When the octopus is agitated, the brown patches darken dramatically, and iridescent blue rings or clumps of rings appear and pulsate within the maculae. Typically 50-60 blue rings cover the dorsal and lateral surfaces of the mantle. They hunt small crabs, hermit crabs, and shrimp, and may bite attackers, including humans, if provoked.

The blue-ringed octopus is 12 to 20 cm (5 to 8 in), but its venom is powerful enough to kill humans. No blue-ringed octopus antivenom is available.

The octopus produces venom containing tetrodotoxin, 5-hydroxytryptamine, hyaluronidase, tyramine, histamine, tryptamine, octopamine, taurine, acetylcholine, and dopamine. The major neurotoxin component of blue-ringed octopus venom was originally known as maculotoxin but was later found to be identical to tetrodotoxin,[4] a neurotoxin also found in pufferfish that is 10,000 times more toxic than cyanide.[5] Tetrodotoxin blocks sodium channels, causing motor paralysis and respiratory arrest within minutes of exposure, leading to cardiac arrest due to a lack of oxygen. The toxin is produced by bacteria in the salivary glands of the octopus.[6] Their venom can result in nausea, respiratory arrest, heart failure, severe and sometimes total paralysis and blindness and can lead to death within minutes if not treated.

Death is usually from suffocation due to lack of oxygen to the brain.

« Last Edit: February 06, 2013, 04:10:19 PM by beans »

Offline bn

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Re: Hapalochlaena - the blue ringed octopus
« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2013, 05:20:42 AM »
Titanium Physicists has a pro-bee-analogy agenda. That's certainly no secret.