The Extraordinary Minds Of Octopuses And Other Cephalopods

The Extraordinary Minds Of Octopuses And Other Cephalopods.

The octopus is a cephalopod mollusc of the order Octopoda. Around 300 species are recognised, which is over one-third of the total number of known cephalopod species. All are venomous, but only one group, the blue-ringed octopuses, is known to be deadly to humans. Octopuses are among the most intelligent and behaviourally diverse of all invertebrates. The exact extent of their intelligence and learning capability is much debated among biologists, but maze and problem-solving experiments have shown evidence of a memory system that can store both short-term and long-term memory. They are also able to distinguish between different shapes and patterns. Octopuses often break out of their aquariums, and sometimes into others, in search of food. They have even boarded fishing boats and opened holds to eat crabs. Like other cephalopods, they possess keen eyesight and can distinguish the polarisation of light. The octopus’s suction cups are equipped with chemoreceptors, so they can taste what they are touching. They use their statocyst (a sac-like structure containing a mineralised mass and sensitive hairs) on their tentacles to register sound, hearing sounds between 400 Hz and 1000 Hz. Amazing creatures.

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