The effects on shells of drilling by Octopus

Authors

  • Marion Nixon,

    1. The Wellcome Institute for the History of Medicine, 183 Euston Road, London and Department of Anatomy, University College London, London
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  • Elaine Maconnachie,

    1. The Wellcome Institute for the History of Medicine, 183 Euston Road, London and Department of Anatomy, University College London, London
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  • P. G. T. Howell

    1. The Wellcome Institute for the History of Medicine, 183 Euston Road, London and Department of Anatomy, University College London, London
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Abstract

The holes drilled by Octopus vulgaris are compared with structures concerned with drilling– the radula, the muscular salivary papilla, and the terminal process of the posterior salivary gland duct, and with the teeth which they all bear. Comparison of the shell surface after drilling and after fracture has shown that some chemical dissolucion of the shell occurs during drilling. “Rasp marks” found on the surface of drill holes have been shown to be due to the structural formation of the gastropod shell.

Ancillary