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Lecture 13

BIOL 1F25 Lecture Notes - Lecture 13: Blue-Ringed Octopus, Tetraodontidae, Tide Pool

Biological Sciences
Course Code
Alan Castle

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BIO 1F25
October 30th
1) TTX works on the outside of voltage gated sodium channels
2) These channels are essential for transmission of action potential (electrical
signal) down
Eventually people cannot breathe because these channels are necessary for
nerve conduction
Found in puffer fish
California Newts
Eggs of horseshoe crabs
Gastropod molluscs
Animals aren’t generating toxins, bacteria inside animals are
Mutations in Na/K channels cause them to have no effect on host
Symbiotic Relationship: provide host, animal has a toxin they can use as
predatory mean
Blue Ringed Octopus
Size of a gold ball
Lives in tide pools in Pacific (spanning from Japan to Australia)
Considered one of the most poisonous animals (contains TTX)
Blue rings only appear as a defensive response or when an animal is about to
Carries enough venom to kill 26 adults within minutes
Bites can be small and painless with many victims not realizing they’ve been
bitten until they’re paralyzed
Blue iridescent rings result from iridophores- cells that contain plates that act as
multilayer reflectors
Hidden by folds of skin: can be exposed as quickly as 0.3 seconds
Surrounded by chromatophors (dark brown) that enhance contrast of rings
Saxitoxin (STX)
Also acts on voltage-gates Na channels
Produced by marine dinoflagellates (plankton)
Some are luminous and contribute to twinkiling
Can be accumulated in shellfish, a single clam can become fatal (when this is
Paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) is a potentially fatal syndrome associated w
the consumption of a shellfish with ATX
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