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Octopus and squid evolution is officially weirder than we could have ever imagined

Just when we thought octopuses couldn’t be any weirder, it turns out that they and their cephalopod brethren evolve differently from nearly every other organism on the planet.

In a surprising twist, scientists have discovered that octopuses, along with some squid and cuttlefish species, routinely edit their RNA (ribonucleic acid) sequences to adapt to their environment.

This is weird because that’s really not how adaptations usually happen in multicellular animals. When an organism changes in some fundamental way, it typically starts with a genetic mutation - a change to the DNA.

The findings have been published in Cell.

Olga Visavi/Shutterstock

Really interesting short read for those interested in evolution.

stupid non-cephalopodes: evolve through a relatively stable updating of genetic matrices

grand cephalopod savants: biohacking into the nature mainframe and leaving eldritch comments in the engine’s source. what the fuck is a “stable release”


How are these creatures not our overlords?

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