What Animal Has Three Hearts?

February 15, 2024

In most animals, a single heart pumps blood throughout the body to bring oxygen and nutrients to every cell. However, some creatures, like octopuses and squids, have multiple hearts that perform different roles. Others, such as hagfish and cockroaches, have multiple organs that function as hearts.

One of the most interesting cases of animal multiple hearts is in octopuses and other cephalopods, which have three hearts. These bodies have a systematic heart that works to pump blood throughout the body and two additional hearts that work to push oxygenated blood to their gills. This allows octopus and squid to move around quickly without overworking their systemic heart.

Other animals with multiple hearts include cuttlefish, a close relative of octopuses and squids. They also have three hearts, with a systematic heart to pump blood and two “gill” hearts that force blood through their gills. Cuttlefish also have a unique pigment called hemocyanin in their blood, which gives them blue coloration. This pigment is created by copper and binds with hemoglobin in the octopus’s tissues, which causes the blood to appear blue.

The hagfish, which is also known as a slimy sea-eel, has four hearts. The main heart, which is found in their abdomens, pumps blood into their gills. The other three hearts act as auxiliary hearts, which help to maintain blood pressure and circulation. In addition to these hearts, hagfish have a lung, which helps them survive in underwater environments that lack oxygen.


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