Jean Alupay, PhD
Octopuses are very flexible animals, lacking any hard parts to provide structural support. Instead, their body is supported and powered to move by a structure called a muscular hydrostat. The system of muscular hydrostats found in octopuses give them the ability to do a variety of things like lose and regenerate arms as well as to interact adaptively with their environment. As a result, octopus have become a model system of study for robotics and used for comparison with similar biological structures, like the human tongue, which is also composed of a muscular hydrostat.
Dr. Alupay is a marine biologist in the linguistics department at USC.