Thursday, November 9, 2023

Octopus At Work

Environmental & Science Education, STEM, Nature, Wildlife, Biodiversity, Biological Evolution, Behavior

Ed Hessler

In this 35s video an octopus carries a coconut and then tucks into the two connected halves.

The things they can do! The thoughts that they can have!

In a long essay in Counterpunch, Thinking Like and Octopus, Louis Proyect  includes a powerful quote from "Other Minds: The Octopus, The Sea, and the Deep Origins of Consciousness" by Peter Godfrey-Smith.

"'Some insects and spider engage in very complex behavior, especially social behavior, but they still have small nervous systems. That's how things go in this branch--except for cephalopods. There are a subgroup with the mollusks so they are related to clams and snails, but they evolved large nervous systems, and the ability to behave in ways very different from other invertebrates. They did this on an entirely separate evolutionary path from ours." (my emphasis) 

"'Cephalods are an island of mental complexity in the sea of invertebrate animals. Because our most recent common ancestor was so simple and lies so far back, cephalopods are an independent experiment in the evolution of large brains and complex behavior. If we can make contact with cephalopods as sentient beings, it is not because of a shared history, not because of kinship, but because evolution built minds twice over. This is probably the closest we we will come to meeting an intelligent alien."' (Proyet's emphasis)

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