Specialized compound keeps octopods functioning in frigid temps

07/5/2013 | PhysOrg.com

Octopods living in frigid waters can do so thanks to a form of the blood compound hemocyanin, an oxygen-carrying, bluish pigment that is genetically and functionally distinct from the pigment carried by their warm-water cousins. The specialized compound allows the release of oxygen to tissues in sub-zero water temperatures, according to a recent study. Copper contained in the pigment gives octopod blood its blue color. "Our finding shows a crucial physiological adaption in cold environments that allows octopods to sustain an aerobic life," one researcher noted.

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