As we've noted in our creature corner, and as Carl Zimmer discusses in today's in-depth Slate story, the Octopus is not your average marine invertebrate. It's an Ivy League invertebrate. Well, sort of.
The eight-tentacled wonder may possess both long- and short-term memory, and they appear to be able to learn. And while we can't truly compare human and octo-intelligence, Octopuses would win the seafloor's geography bee, it seems.
Zimmer tells of one experiment where octopuses were placed in tanks with an assortment of landmarks. It took only a few trials for the octopuses to find the quickest route to a hidden exit in the bottom of the tank.
Plus, they do this nifty thing dubbed the moving-rock trick: "An octopus morphs into the shape of a rock and then inches across an open space. Even though it's in plain view, predators don't attack it. They can't detect its motion because the octopus matches its speed to the motion of the light in the surrounding water."
Pretty clever, eh?
- Oceana Magazine: Q&A with Justin Winters, Executive Director of Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation Posted Fri, September 26, 2014
- Ocean Roundup: UN Sounds Alarm on Mangrove Disappearance, Brazil to Triple Marine Protected Areas, and More Posted Tue, September 30, 2014
- President Obama Designates World’s Largest Marine Protected Area in Pacific Ocean Posted Thu, September 25, 2014
- Meet a Tiny Crab Species That’s Not into Long-Term Relationships Posted Sat, September 27, 2014
- Ocean Roundup: Blue Crabs Keeping Invasive Green Crabs in Line, Sargasso Sea Less Biodiverse than in Previous Years, and More Posted Wed, September 24, 2014