Thu 15 Feb, 2018 01:47 am
If you answered the octopus, you might be onto something. Some people are referring to the octopus as the intelligent alien because it's form of intelligence is so different from vertebrates.
Octopuses Gain Consciousness (According to Scientists' Declaration) - Scientific American Blog Network
Cuttlefish are also very smart. Closely related to the octopus.
That's all right. One at a time. I'm going to post a series of articles about the octopus, and I'll get around to the cuttlefish eventually.
No problem. I can't tag threads any more, so in order to get them to show up on my list, I have to post to them. So I usually post something short but meaningless to threads I like, just as a marker
Giant Pacific octopus in Monterey Aquarium.
The only disagreement I have with this article is the statement that the chambered nautilus is the only cephalopod with a shell. There is a family of octopuses called the Argonauts and the female members of this family build shells and then live in them. These shells look very similar to the nautilus shell, but are paper thin and are often called the paper Nautilus. I'll post articles about Argonauts later.
JUNE 23 2008 1:14 PM
How Smart Is the Octopus?
Bright enough to do the moving-rock trick.
By Carl Zimmer
There is a lot of anthropomorphism and sentimentalism and assumptions made in this video. But still it raises many questions. Why was the octopus beached in the first place? How did they know it was the same octopus? Why would an octopus swim towards people and extend its tentacle towards them? Why would an octopus swim along the beach following them?
"Rescued Octopus came back to thank us!"
There's a Radio 4 programme, The Infinite Monkey Cage. One of the presenters is Dr Brian Cox. It's all about science, and last week all the presenters said they could no longer eat octopus or squid after learning of how intelligent they were.
Here is another case of people releasing a stranded octopus. The released octopus walks toward them and touches their booty with his tentacles before swimming off. I don't understand this. The video clip ends before the octopus actually swims off, so we really don't know what it does after the video is over.
New England Aquarium. A giant Pacific octopus interacting with the keeper. This video doesn't have the irritating music that the Aquarium had.
Octopus approaches scuba divers hand.
Once again the behavior of this octopus puzzles me. Does it think the diver's hand is a potential meal or is it simply curious? Why would it approach something so large and alien-looking that is a potential predator?
Are octopuses smart?
The mischievous mollusk that flooded a Santa Monica aquarium is not the first MENSA-worthy octopus
By Brendan Borrell on February 27, 2009
Are octopuses smart?
On Thursday morning, workers filing into the Santa Monica Pier Aquarium in California were surprised to find 200 gallons (750 liters) of seawater soaking into their spanking new, ecologically sensitive flooring. It turns out that a curious two-spotted octopus had disassembled a water recycling valve and directed a tube to spew out of the tank for about 10 hours, according to the Los Angeles Times.
"It found something loose and just pulled on it," the aquarium's education manager Tara Treiber told the Times. "They are very smart creatures."
Octopuses, some 300 species of which inhabit tropical waters around the world, can change colors, squirt out poison, and exert a force greater than their own body weight. But calling the eight-armed cousin of your garden snail "smart" seems a bit of a stretch. In fact, the animals are part of an elite group of slimy mollusks known as cephalopods that range from giant squid to the shelled nautilus and all have remarkably large "brains"—at least for creatures sans backbones.
Scientists have found that octopuses can navigate their way through mazes, solve problems quickly and remember those solutions, at least for the short term.
To find out more about octopus intelligence, we spoke to Jennifer Mather, a comparative psychologist at the University of Lethbridge in Alberta, Canada. Mather has been studying octopuses for 35 years in an effort to gain insight into the evolution of intelligence. While most scientists hold octopuses in high regard, it's worth noting that not everyone shares Mather's lofty assessment of their intellectual abilities and personalities.
[An edited transcript of the interview follows.]
Are octopuses smart?
Yes, but of course one has to ask what that means. I would say intelligence means learning information and using the information that you've learned.
So, how do you know they are smart?
We observed how octopuses figure out how to open clams and what sort of flexibility and variety they have. We give them clams and mussels in order to figure out which they like best. They are very strong, but we found they prefer mussels because mussels are easier to open. They switched to clams when we put the clams on a half shell. They clearly made a decision to go with what was easiest. We noticed along the way that yanking them open wasn't the only thing the octopuses could do to open them. They have a cartilaginous beak, which looks a lot like a parrot's beak, and they could chip at the edge of the clamshell and then they could inject poison and weaken the clam. Or they actually have a salivary papilla, and they can drill a hole to inject the toxin that way in the stronger clams. They were selective about what technique they would use with what species. We decided we would cheat on them: We took one of the easier ones and wired them shut. They switched techniques according to what would work best. Of course, this doesn't sound hard to you because you're a human, but most simple animals keep trying the same technique.
What other indications are there that octopuses are intelligent?
Octopuses play, and play is something that intelligent animals do. At the Seattle Aquarium, my colleague Roland Anderson and I figured out a situation in which they might play: a boring situation. We gave them an empty tank and a floating pill bottle and waited to see what would happen. Nothing happened the first time, but, after the fourth time, a couple animals did something we call "play." The octopus blew a jet of water at the pill bottle and that caused it to go over a water jet in the tank and come back to the octopus. These two individual animals did it in a sequence over 20 times. That's just exactly the kind of thing we do when we bounce a ball. When you bounce a ball, you are not trying to get rid of the ball, you are trying to figure out what you can do with the ball.
Octopuses also have personalities. We used the same kind of setup people use when they want to study human personalities. You just ask what do the animals commonly encounter during the day in different situations and look at the variability. We put them in three common situations: alerting (opening the top of the tank), threatening (touching the octopus with a test tube brush) and feeding (the octopus was given a crab to munch). This takes awhile because we tested 33 animals, each for two weeks. We found there are three dimensions and we settled for names: activity, reactivity and avoidance. Avoidance is how shy you are. Activity is if you are very active or passive. And reactivity indicates whether you are very emotional or more blasé. Octopuses can have any mix of those traits. We didn't take it any further, but there's a former graduate student in Australia looking at the extent to which personality affects ecology.
Do octopuses have brains?
The molluscan nervous system has a bunch of paired ganglia (a cluster of nerve cells), which in an animal like a clam or a snail are not very big and are widely distributed through the body. They control different functions and are located in different areas. Well, the cephalopods—that's the octopuses, squids and cuttlefish—they are unique in that all these ganglias have condensed so they form a centralized brain. The other thing that is unique amongst the mollusks is there are two areas of this brain that have developed that are specialized for memory storage. It's not just that the brain is larger and condensed, but they have areas of the brain dedicated to learning. That's the kind of thing we humans have, but it’s a completely different brain.
By invertebrate standards it’s a huge brain, but by vertebrate standards, it’s a small brain. What's interesting about the octopus is about one third of the neurons (nerve cells) are in the brain. They have a huge neural representation in the arms, and there's a ganglion controlling every sucker, so there's quite a bit of local control. As humans, we're very proud of having a pincer grasp—the thumb and forefinger—and we say that's responsible for our ability to manipulate the environment so well. The octopus can fold the two sides of its sucker together to form a pincer grasp and it can do that with every single one. It has a hundred pincer grasps.
Why do you think octopuses evolved such big brains?
Probably because the tropical coral reef is the most complex environment in the world. There's such a huge variety of situations, lots of kinds of prey, lots of predators, and if you are not armored, you'd better be smart. The octopus has gone the smart route. Also, we talk about mammalian intelligence evolving in social situations, but clearly the octopus, a solitary organism, has evolved intelligence to solve ecological problems.
Do octopuses often cause trouble in aquariums?
They are very strong, and it is practically impossible to keep an octopus in a tank unless you are very lucky. One of the early researchers said if you leave a floating thermometer in a tank, it will last about five minutes. Octopuses simply take things apart. I recall reading about someone who had built a robot submarine to putter around in a large aquarium tank. The octopus got a hold of it and took it apart piece by piece. There's a famous story from the Brighton Aquarium in England 100 years ago that an octopus there got out of its tank at night when no one was watching, went to the tank next door and ate one of the lumpfish and went back to his own tank and was sitting there the next morning. The aquarium lost several lumpfish before they figured out who was responsible.
Does anybody have any ideas why this octopus is doing what it's doing? I don't. Is it just looking for food or is it really playing? Or does it simply think it has found a shelter in the diver's hand, and the diver keeps pushing it away. Some say we are really contacting an alien consciousness.
Octopuses in captivity are able to discriminate one person from another even though they are wearing the same uniform. And they have likes and dislikes for particular people. One instance has an octopus squirting unfavorable people who are walking by their tank.
Octopus steals diver's video camera but is not very good at filming.
Well, isn't that like the horse that could count? The point was that it could count; not how accurate it was.
I was joking about it not filming well. The octopus stole the camera, which was still running.
By the way, horses can't count. Horses that you seeing films that are counting are giving a secret signal to start and stop.
The octopus wasn't filming and the horse wasn't counting. Any other bubbles you want bust?
octopus fossils are quite common in the fossil record. Their evolution is pretty "out there" for student to review. Reason? it appears that the earliest cephalopods (seen in Mid Cambrian sediments) were more dense tissued and, since,early, they were adapted to shallow sandy environments associated with the world of benthic sediments, we can trace their gross anatomy during their periodic pulses in evolution.
Its seen, from fine structure associated with early gqstropods, that the entire cephalopods blossomed from adaptations made of the molluscan "foot"
We use em for good stratigraphic keys that define specific marine intervals in the Paleozoic. Too bad theres really no economic hints they provide (unlike nautiloids and belimnoids)otherwise there'd be tons of literature on the evolution of these critters).
_____AS an aside, if you like calamari or octopus (pulpo ), an you are taking blood thinners, dont overindulge because these food groups contain natural blood thinners that can skyrocket your "coumadin Clinic numbers". Higher numbers men your blood is unable to clot, a sometimes dangerous condition if its too high
Too bad theres really no economic hints they provide (unlike nautiloids and belimnoids)otherwise there'd be tons of literature on the evolution of these critters).
I don't understand what you're saying here. Could you elaborate?