The morphology of a preserved octopod is significantly affected by the condition of the animal at the time of fixation, whether live or dead. When unknown, this condition can be assessed by examining the degree of contraction of the radula support muscle. Specimens fixed post‐mortem have a relaxed radula support muscle. This muscle is contracted in specimens plunged into preservatives alive. The degree of contraction of this radula support muscle facilitates identification of both fixation‐induced and fixation‐independent character states in octopod systematics.
- Character states
- Radula support muscle