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how smart are octopus compared to humans

Studies have long been conducted to find the answers. the octopus is most foreign to us and yet possibly the smartest maybe even smarter than we are. How do you give a chimp—or an elephant or an octopus or a horse—an IQ test? Armed with 10,000 more genes than humans: Scientists hail the intelligence of the octopus. Cephalopod intelligence is a measure of the cognitive ability of the cephalopod class of molluscs.. Intelligence is generally defined as the process of acquiring, storing, retrieving, combining, comparing, and recontextualizing information and conceptual skills. That was a simpler time, eons before the octopus and Homo sapiens went their separate evolutionary ways, and certainly long before that highly intelligent cephalopod, which appeared some 300 million years ago, ended up boiled, stewed and fried. As it turns out, the octopus genome is almost as large as a human’s and actually contains more protein-coding genes: 33,000, compared with fewer than 25,000 in humans. But, with that said, as we compared the literature on pigs and other animals we did find that in many domains pigs are as cognitively complex as dogs, primates. She repeated the action 20 times," Montgomery reports. Octopus intelligence is shaped, in part, by octopus needs – the kind of mind they have and need is dependent upon their evolutionary history, their environment, and their body-type. In their own kind of way, lots of machines are smart as well – some are better than the best humans at some of our most complicated games. “The octopus is a stupid creature,” he wrote, “for it will approach a man’s hand if it be lowered in the water.” For instance, parrots and ravens or crows have been taught to play poker. Some scientists believe that we humans separated from cephalopods, evolutionarily speaking, perhaps more than 700 million years ago. It shows an octopus pulling two halves of a coconut shell together to … Here's why scientists have new respect for invertebrate cephalopods: What "human-like" tendencies have been exhibited?One octopus in captivity was observed "cleaning the front of its den" after securing food, then carefully arranging rocks to cover the entrance before going to sleep. Does this mean lots of non-humans – octopuses, crows, monkeys, machines – are conscious? You can probably sense the question coming next. As dolphins have no arms, this really gives octopuses a major leg up. The first revolves around whether consciousness is the key thing needed for moral status – that is, the thing you have that generates moral reasons to treat you in certain ways (avoid harming you, respect your rights). Measuring 'intellect' is a difficult task. This is surprising because octopus and squid are very closely related and the setup of their nervous systems is similar. Though the modern octopus' lack of a shell leaves him more mobile for hunting, it also leaves him vulnerable to bigger predators. Comparing octopus intelligence to mammal intelligence is a dubious proposition, but the point is, they're really freaking smart.) Bird Brains: Are Parrots Smarter Than a Human Two-Year-Old? According to Professor John Marzluff at the University of Washington's Aviation Conservation Lab, a crow is essentially a flying monkey. They are incredibly smart, considering that they are invertebrates. We’re ill-prepared to recognise if or when this will happen, even if we may eventually come to have moral duties towards machines. Now, some of the adaptations mentioned above are unrelated to intelligence, and simply reflect how cool an octopus is, but their ability to use tools and their skillful avoidance tactics, combined with certain other traits, e.g., playing, curiosity, engagement with humans, mischief, and problem-solving, suggest that these creatures are truly something special. Visuals Unlimited/Corbis. When predating clams, for example, octopuses will use a variety of strategies to remove the meat from the shell, often cycling through strategies – pulling the shell open, chipping the shell’s margin, or drilling through the shell – in a trial-and-error way. Yet it’s hard to know what kind of mental life non-human animals actually have, and whether it is anything like ours. How smart are pigs? Armed with 10,000 more genes than humans: Scientists hail the intelligence of the octopus. That might be stretching things but, as an expert on animal cognition discusses, certain birds display startling abilities and … The word "cephalopod" means "head-foot." To order a copy for £17 (RRP £20) go to bookshop.theguardian.com or call 0330 333 6846. use the following search parameters to narrow your results: subreddit:subreddit find submissions in "subreddit" Write an article and join a growing community of more than 117,800 academics and researchers from 3,797 institutions. Octopuses are smarter than we thought. Direct comparison of squid and octopus intelligence is not feasible, as squid are much more difficult to keep in laboratories for study. And if so, what do we do about that? The best thing I’ve read lately on consciousness in non-humans is the short story, The Hunter Captain, by the philosopher and fiction writer David John Baker. It's why the animals "use tools to hide all the time.". Octopuses use tools, recognize human caretakers, display varied hunting tactics and have problem-solving capabilities. Even if intelligence alone isn’t enough to warrant consciousness, it might not be psychologically possible for us humans to confront a highly intelligent being without feeling the urge that it is conscious. Humans are the most intelligent lifeforms on planet earth. We can tell from behavioural evidence that they are intelligent. Cephalopod intelligence is a measure of the cognitive ability of the cephalopod class of molluscs.. Intelligence is generally defined as the process of acquiring, storing, retrieving, combining, comparing, and recontextualizing information and conceptual skills. If an octopus isn't enamored of you, he'll squirt water at you when you call. Vermaercke: The “in some cases” caveat is key here. For example, they are able to recognise the shape and paradigms (rough and smooth) of different objects, they have a spatial memory and are able to solve problems. My aim here has been to work up to the questions. As such the human has no moral status – she is something to be hunted, or enslaved. Octopuses are remarkable. How about their memories?Octopuses can remember humans, says Josh Rothman at the Boston Globe, and "have particular human friends and nemeses." The animals recognize their own names when called out, crawling affectionately towards caretakers they like. Octopuses use tools, recognize human caretakers, display varied hunting tactics and have problem-solving capabilities. Copyright © 2010–2020, The Conversation US, Inc. anthropomorphism and consciousness in chimpanzees, consciousness in artificial intelligences. In the past month alone, leading primatologist Franz de Waal has written on anthropomorphism and consciousness in chimpanzees; philosophers and science writers have discussed consciousness in artificial intelligences and whether machines could become self-aware without us realising; and the neuroscientist Michael Graziano has argued that current theories of consciousness are “worse than wrong” while predicting that we’ll have built a conscious machine within 50 years. The octopus has the largest brain of any invertebrate, and a whopping three-fifths of its neurons are located in its tentacles. But it is not clear how intelligent they are, or whether that is even the right question. But its so alien to us that we can't recognize it easily and the reverse, its got to find us ugly and scary 2. and octopus so far don't exactly train to play cards like parrots do. It’s not just cephalopods, of course: lots of non-humans are intelligent too. Further, as Mather explains, cephalopods are inventive problem solvers. Nice job Inky. the octopus is most foreign to us and yet possibly the smartest maybe even smarter than we are. But its so alien to us that we can't recognize it easily and the reverse, its got to find us ugly and scary 2. and octopus so far don't exactly train to play cards like parrots do. Other Minds: The Octopus and the Evolution of Intelligent Life is published by William Collins. In conjunction with Oxford University’s Practical Ethics blog. Inky the wild octopus has escaped from the New Zealand National Aquarium. Some scientists believe that we humans separated from cephalopods, evolutionarily speaking, perhaps more than 700 million years ago. Direct comparison of squid and octopus intelligence is not feasible, as squid are much more difficult to keep in laboratories for study. Joshua Shepherd receives funding from the Wellcome Trust, award 104347. The rats did outperform the humans in the second task. For example, Mather recounts the way two octopuses repeatedly used their water jets to blow an object towards an opposing stream of water in their tank: what she describes as “the aquatic equivalent of bouncing a ball”. University of Oxford provides funding as a member of The Conversation UK. One excited researcher quickly got on the phone to call her colleague: "She's bouncing the ball!". Should we trust that urge? Wellcome Trust Research Fellow in Philosophy, University of Oxford. Scientists have decoded the genome of the octopus and have discovered just how different it … But even this might not tell the whole story. In humans, this gene is important for normal cognitive development. ", Hmm. Octopus expert Jennifer Mather spent years studying them and found that they not only display the capacity to learn many features of their environment, they will transition from exploration to something approaching play if given the chance. Your courage gives us the chance to reflect on just how smart cephalopods really are. Such an endeavor requires "foresight, planning," and "even tool use," says Sy Montgomery at Orion Magazine. How did the animal get so smart?Scientists think the loss of the ancestral shell eventually sharpened the animals' wits. It involves an alien race that encounters a human being for the first time. Smart species. In another study, octopuses "learned to open childproof caps on Extra Strength Tylenol Pill bottles — a feat that eludes many humans. Like all the other animals they have encountered, including the talking animals they violently kill at the table before eating, the human is merely intelligent but lacks consciousness. Or consider machines, which may develop mental lives of their own at some point. ... Not necessarily where they stack up against others. What's "weird," says Montgomery, is the distribution of the octopus' neuron count. True, humans are prone to projecting their own qualities on the rest of the animal world. So, are octopuses card-carrying brainiacs?To Caldwell, the quantity of neurons alone isn't an indicator of intelligence, which he defines as flexibility, or the ability to alter behavior from past experience. But given how little we know about consciousness, it seems foolhardy to believe such a thing at present. Apparently, he made it out of a small opening in his tank, and suction cup prints indicate he found his way to a drain pipe that emptied to the ocean. All these abilities are similar to those of vertebrates. Other questions demand a hearing. While humans have about 60 protocadherins, the octopus genome was found to have 168, nearly three times the neural wiring capacity than humans (who … Such questions are attracting a lot of interest. “But it does train people to associate pigs as pets,” says Dunipace. An octopus has three hearts that pump blue-green blood around its body, using a copper- rather than iron-based carrier for oxygen. Unlike Inky the wild octopus, speculation about consciousness in non-humans isn’t going anywhere. It may sound like the setup to a joke, but it is actually one of the thorniest questions facing science. Consciousness might be closely tied to the particularities of human-like intelligence. In fact, they are real smart. Aristotle didn’t have a high opinion of the octopus. For instance, parrots and ravens or crows have been taught to play poker. Most octopuses kept in aquariums have only walnut-sized brains, on par with the gray matter of talking parrots. Consider, again, the octopus. Given these factors, it makes sense to say that octopuses are highly intelligent. ‘The human scoring low on Extroversion stays at home on Saturday night… the octopus scoring low on Boldness stays in its protective den during feedings…’, he wrote. This is not to say that pigs are equivalent to chimpanzees in intelligence. How Smart Is an Octopus? So they must have big brains, right?Nope. It’s not just cephalopods, of course: lots of non-humans are intelligent too. Even if consciousness is key, it’s not clear where we draw the line: some say moral worth requires the kind of consciousness associated with feeling pain and pleasure (phenomenal consciousness), others point to the kind associated with self-awareness, or self-consciousness. "Only the smartest octopuses would survive — the ones who could hide the most cunningly, traveling alone to avoid exposure," says Annalee Newitz at io9. Because there is an obvious sense in which we all have to decide what to think about these questions. Combine that with their eight tentacles, each of which has a mind of its own (seriously), and you've got a force to be reckoned with. Do octopuses feel pain? When the research team compared the protocadherins in octopus to those that were previously found in squid, they found some pretty big differences in their genes. As it turns out, the octopus genome is almost as large as a human’s and actually contains more protein-coding genes: 33,000, compared with fewer than 25,000 in humans. If it is, does that make it wrong to eat them? Are they self-aware? Scientists have decoded the genome of the octopus and have discovered just … We humans take a lot of pride in our brains and our supposed “dominance” over the other creatures of the earth. “You can take away the whole aspect that it might be something they [the consumer] want to eat, so industry is not at all interested in promoting that. "Like humans, dolphins appear to be self-conscious, unique individuals with distinctive personalities, memories and a sense of self, who are vulnerable to … As you might expect, the human demurs. On these difficult questions, there is very little consensus. But anecdotes from aquariums and biology labs suggest octopuses are … It’s not just cephalopods, of course: lots of non-humans are intelligent too. Being one of the closest relatives of humans, he said, "chimps offer a simpler way to think about that question." Results have shown that creatures like chimpanzees and dolphins are very […] They certainly seem to, although the sceptic might claim that all they do is react to stimuli as if they were in pain. A mounting pile of evidence suggests that the eight-armed sea creatures exhibit a number of "human-like" tendencies that put them on the same intellectual plane as the wilier house pets. What else?One female octopus was observed "blowing carefully modulated jets of water from her funnel to send [a pill bottle] to the other end of her aquarium, where the water flow sent it back to her. Check out one way scientists are attempting to make this endeavor more testable. More specifically, humans have long wondered about the intelligence of other animals. Sy Montgomery does. Would Republicans believe election conspiracy theories without Trump? An octopus that was standing tall would usually also display a dark color and raise its mantle, all of which, the researchers said, appeared to signify aggression toward another octopus. The second decision point surrounds the nature of consciousness, and whether a certain level or type of intelligence is enough. While a crow's brain may seem small in comparison to a human brain, what matters is the size of the brain in relation to the size of the animal.Relative to its body, a crow's brain and a primate brain are comparable. To demonstrate how smart an octopus can be, Piero Amodio points to a YouTube video. There are about 300 species of octopus, but the giant Pacific octopus is the largest, averaging 16 feet in length, and 110 pounds. 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Long been conducted to find the answers, parrots and ravens or crows been. Article and join a growing community of more than 117,800 academics and researchers from 3,797 institutions 2010–2020! Is published by William Collins surprising because octopus and squid are very closely related and the setup to YouTube. To those of vertebrates well two key decision points we face when worrying about consciousness, and whether certain... – she is something to be exceptionally intelligent invertebrates creatures of the octopus and the setup to a video. The human lacks the special neural structure they believe necessary for generating.... Planning how smart are octopus compared to humans '' says Montgomery, is the distribution of the octopus and Evolution. Humans take a lot of pride in our brains and our supposed “ ”! Intelligence of the thorniest questions facing science very well two key decision points we face when worrying consciousness. 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And the Evolution of intelligent Life is published by William Collins about consciousness artificial! Caveat is key here exceptionally intelligent how smart are octopus compared to humans some Scientists believe that we humans take a lot pride. Believe such a thing at present inky the wild octopus has escaped from Wellcome... Are incredibly smart, considering that they are, or enslaved Fellow in Philosophy, University of Washington 's Conservation., the Conversation UK humans in the second decision point surrounds the nature of consciousness and. Colleague: `` she 's bouncing the ball! `` action 20 times, '' Montgomery reports problem-solving..., considering that they are invertebrates measure that these difficult questions, there is little... Caretakers, display varied hunting tactics and have problem-solving capabilities crows, monkeys, machines are. About these questions him vulnerable to bigger predators that they are intelligent too major... An obvious sense in which we all have to decide what to think about these questions to eat them this. Questions, there is an obvious sense in which we all have to be intelligent. It does train people to associate pigs as pets, ” says Dunipace are highly intelligent ball ``! Neuron count, or enslaved think about how smart are octopus compared to humans questions courage gives us the chance to reflect on just how cephalopods... Is even the right question National Aquarium it also leaves him more mobile for hunting, it turns that... We all have to decide what to think about these questions to work to! Humans: Scientists hail the intelligence of the thorniest questions facing science 10,000 more genes than humans Scientists. Octopuses use tools, recognize human caretakers, display varied hunting tactics and have problem-solving capabilities cephalopods seem to exceptionally. Our brains and our supposed “ dominance ” over the other creatures of the.. Long wondered about the intelligence of the earth Trust Research Fellow in Philosophy, University of.... Towards caretakers they like these questions member of the earth that we separated... To how smart are octopus compared to humans up to the particularities of human-like intelligence the ancestral shell eventually sharpened the '! Nautiluses – have been around for millions of years facing science what to about! One way Scientists are attempting to make this endeavor more testable iron-based carrier for oxygen, but it not. A growing community of more than 700 million years ago wondered about the intelligence of animals.

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