Octopuses found in Antarctica are adapted to survive in seas that are among the coldest on Earth, with average highs of 10 degrees Celsius and average lows of almost 2 degrees Celsius. That’s fantastic, isn’t it?! These octopuses, in addition to being adorable sea creatures, are also a kind of superhero. For instance, it was just recently discovered that weird octopuses belonging to the genus Pareledone utilize each of their three hearts to pump a unique sort of blue blood throughout their body. This allows them to provide oxygen to their tissues even in extremely cold regions such as Antarctica.
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We now have access to some new information on the octopuses that live in the icy seas of Antarctica and how they manage to stay alive, thanks to the efforts of the Marine Biological Laboratory in the United States. The researchers claim that the octopuses contain enzymes that have “cold-adapted” to the environment, and these enzymes play an essential part in a variety of metabolic activities. In Antarctic organisms, the enzymes have a particular flexibility that allows them to work even at lower temperatures. Enzymes from more temperate octopuses, on the other hand, slow down by 25 percent when confronted with similar extremes.
Because of its central importance, the [sodium-potassium pump] should be under strong selection to operate efficiently in different thermal environments, explained the researchers.
Because of the specific chemical interactions in which they participate, soluble enzymes, such as the ones that are responsible for the digestion of food in our digestive tract, are better able to adjust to changes in temperature. However, not all of the enzymes in the system have the luxury of being as adaptable. Some of them find their way into cell membranes, where the “working conditions” are much more stiff than outside the membrane.
It is necessary for researchers to do more research into the specifics of this mutation, but it is possible that the presence of this alternative amino acid in this particular spot provides the pump with additional wiggle space inside the cell membrane.
Tiesha loves to share her passion for everything that’s beautiful in this world. Apart from writing on her beauty blog and running her own beauty channel on Youtube, she also enjoys traveling and photography. Tiesha covers various stories on the website.