It seems that octopuses are even smarter, and more fearless, than previously thought. It has been known for some time that they can be trained to open jars to obtain treats as shown in the promotional video for “Aliens of the Deep Sea” shown below:

There are even stories of them purposefully escaping their own tank to snack on fish in a tank nearby.

More recently, the animals have been discovered planning other complex activities. This video actually shows the animals collecting coconut shells, tucking them under their bodies and walking around with them to use for future defense against predators. These findings are remarkable because they show that octopuses are capable of planning very complex activities. These behaviors have been published in Current Biology (Finn et al., 19: R1069-R1070) and you can watch this video taken by Dr. Julian Finn from Museum Victoria in Australia who discovered this behavior:

Who would have thought that an invertebrate would have more of a “backbone” than most fish? Caretakers at the Seattle Aquarium were baffled by the disappearing sharks when they introduced an octopus into the tank. Find out why in this video:

What amazing creatures!

Comments

  1. #1 Martha
    October 7, 2011

    And here is a video of the TickleMe Plant that moves, closes its leaves and lowers its branches when Tickled.
    I grow the TickleMe Plant in my classroom and then have a discussion on how this plant is like an animal.
    http://www.ticklemeplant.com

  2. #2 Bruce
    October 12, 2011

    OK hold on a minute. I have a couple of salient questions. Firstly now I know what happened to all the crabs I have kept in jars next to the octopus tank!

    Secondly, How did the octopus know which way the jar lid screws, that tricks half the human population. And … if he was so smart why didn’t he just reach in and grab the crab rather than squeezing into the jar, didn’t he just see what happens to animals inside of jars?

  3. #3 Remo
    October 12, 2011

    Here is an ultracool video regarding octopus camouflage. It is pretty amazing.

    http://www.sciencefriday.com/videos/watch/10397

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