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At LiveScience: Are octopuses smart?

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From Sarah B. Puschmann at LiveScience:

In 2014, one of Roy Caldwell’s octopuses went missing.

Caldwell, a professor of integrative biology at the University of California, Berkeley, had kept the reef octopuses (Abdopus aculeatus) he and his team collected on Lizard Island in Australia in separate, sealed tanks. Puzzled, he peered into the female octopus’s tank and found spermatophores, the capsules that contain octopus sperm, floating in the water. He looked closer and found the male there, too, buried in the gravel.

The only way the male octopus could have made it into the female’s tank, Caldwell said, is for the male to have wriggled through the pipe that fed water into both octopuses’ tanks, an act some might deem proof of a calculated nighttime tryst. More.

Maybe. Did the octopus know if it had done anything or not? Would an ant know if it had done anything or not? It’s going to be nearly impossible to understand animal minds—and impossible to understand human minds—if we don’t get a handle on information and the mind’s role in processing it. We can reasonably expect lots of junk papers claiming to have solved the “problem of human consciousness” in the meantime.

Some thoughts: What can we hope to learn about animal minds?

Are apes entering the Stone Age?

Furry, feathery, and finny animals speak their minds

Does intelligence depend on a specific type of brain?

and

Animal minds: In search of the minimal self

3 Replies to “At LiveScience: Are octopuses smart?

  1. 1
    J-Mac says:

    Wow! Octopus is so smart…It can open a jar…learn few things…”Will octopus species compete with us? Not any time soon… but given time hundreds of thousands of years nature can accomplish almost anything…”(even miracles?)-says David Suzuki in the documentary done by CBC for using Canadian tax money:

    http://www.cbc.ca/player/play/1598392616

    Just watch at 42 min mark and admire the stupidity from so-called Canadian intellectual…

  2. 2
    Aeneas Pietas says:

    I shall concede that they are smart when they can figure out what the correct plural of ‘octopus’ is (octopuses, octopi, or octopodes).

  3. 3
    Mung says:

    octopeida?

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