Jul 16, 2008

Smarty Pants Octopi

According to Slate.com:

Aristotle didn't have a high opinion of the octopus. "The octopus is a stupid creature," he wrote, "for it will approach a man's hand if it be lowered in the water."


Oh yeah, Aristotle? Can you open a mason jar with your tentacles and eat the crab inside like in this video (sucks to be the crab)? They've got half a billion neurons, which puts them on par with mammals and birds and Greek philosophers.

Thanks for the article, Ida.

17 comments:

Rasmus said...

"The human is a stupid creature, for it will lower its hand into the water for the octopus to approach and grab."

For The People said...

Wow! That was wierd! uuh! Not sure what to say about that! The ones I sent you don't compare!

Wendy said...

Yeah, Rasmus! Aristotle got a lot wrong, but really, he was far to convinced of Man's superiority.

But aside from arrogant Greeks, that vid was about the most fascinating thing I've seen in a while. The octopus is an amazing and fascinating creature. I'll offer my thanks to Ida as well, that was great!

Gette said...

That octopus is unstoppable!

Jade said...

Cephalopods are so smart and neat :)

bats :[ said...

If these critters had lifespans close to ours (or even half that), we would be so boned....

~Jolene said...

This may be the scariest thing I have seen in a LONG time. I'm really kind of freaked out right now. Octopi really could take over the world!

Theodosia said...

I'm kinda with ~jolene, because if they were able to get out of the water for extended periods*, can you imagine what kind of house pest they'd be? Imagine mice that can open cabinets and jars. :-)

Loved looking at the time-lapse photography on this one, because the delicate and lovely dance of the tentacles is far more evident this way!



* Laboratories have found that octopi left in unsecured tanks sometimes migrate to other tanks when no one is looking.

For The People said...

No post today? :( I got started a little earlier today. Stop by my place if you get a chance. Have a wwonderful day!

KittyChymira said...

Thanks. .. now I've got another reason to not go into ocean water. Superb.

octochan said...

ooh, I love octopi. Eventually I hope to get one for a pet. I could get it one of those habitrail tanks... naturally, the company is called Octopus Studios

http://www.octopusstudios.com/aquagallery.htm

morgan said...

A little late to chime in on this one, but maybe so much the better for a wet blanket comment...
Octopuses are very smart for invertebrates, as their curiosity will attest to, but the actual extent is somewhat up for debate. Their having so many neurons doesn't necessarily imply advanced cognitive ability--it's a result of their morphology. Their tentacles, suckers, and siphon are all hydrostatic skeletons, which require a huge amount of neuronal power to operate (your tongue is also a hydrostatic skeleton, which is why it takes up so much room on those little sensory homunculus cartoons, e.g. http://universe-review.ca/I10-13-homunculus.jpg ).
There are a lot of problems with many of the studies that have been done to measure cephalopod cognitive ability, but it seems that they are not smarter than any mammal, to be sure.

Raging Wombat said...

Thanks, Morgan. Good info.

KC said...

Re: this from Morgan" "...but it seems that they are not smarter than any mammal, to be sure."
to that I say: "And THANK GOD."

Anonymous said...

Octochan - Awesome 'habit-trail' fish tanks... I want one. I'm sure they are a bit spendy, though. Perhaps I could just make my own with some old plastic fish tanks, habit-trails and hot glue? Probably not a good idea.

morgan - Oh dear, my tongue is simular in structure to an octopus tentacle? Oh dear. I was wondering just what the little suction cups were for (sorry, that is gross). Anyway, thank you for reasuring us that Octopuses are not going to take over the planet any time soon (we'll leave that to the dolphins).

I'm not usually quite this silly.

Sherry at SofN

Nonexistant Black Feather said...

that was so cool! more proof that cephalopods are our overlords.

Nurglitch said...

Considering how delicious octopodes are, the comments about them wandering up to a hand placed in the water are pretty spot-on. Any human trying to play with wolves would likewise make wolves believe humans were stupid.