[Coral-List] Yes, the Octopus Is Smart as Heck. But Why?
edusilvasampaio at gmail.com
Wed Dec 12 16:27:03 UTC 2018
Just want to give some feedback on this interesting discussion. Octopuses
do not have small brains, especially in brain/body relation. They are the
only invertebrates which brain-body relative size rivals that of
vertebrates (see for example J.Z. Young's papers from last century). Plus,
as many of you were saying, 2/3 of their 500 million neurons are located
outside of the brain, since they evolved from "ladder" architectures, in
opposition to the centralized architecture of vertebrates. Thus, this
actually makes up for a higher number of neurons then at least some
vertebrates have, which made some researchers start studying the concept of
What makes cephalopod researchers most puzzled is finding the evolutionary
need for such a short lived animal (most live up only to two years), to
invest so much in neural tissue and cognitive capacities. Most research
points to the losing of their external shell as the primary factor for
this, but this is still a subject of much discussion.
All the best,
On Wed, Dec 12, 2018, 16:42 Matt Nolan via Coral-List <
coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov wrote:
> My guess is they got the key random genetic permutation in the genome
> that gave their brain the unique circuitry needed to be smart.
> They were evolving and they hit the random mutation jackpot.
> And the challenging nature of their environmental aided in the change
> sticking because it was an advantageous change.
> of course, the specifics of the genetic change, is the interesting part
> On Mon, Dec 10, 2018 at 9:23 AM Douglas Fenner
> <douglasfennertassi at gmail.com> wrote:
> > It has eight arms, three hearts — and a plan. Scientists aren’t sure how
> > the cephalopods got to be so intelligent.
> > Read More... <https://nyti.ms/2DTnFOa?smid=nytcore-ios-share>
> > They talk about big brains, but actually Octopus and other cephalopods
> > don't have big brains, their brains are about the size of a rice grain.
> > Which just makes their intelligence all the more surprising and puzzling,
> > it seems to me. But the cephalopods are all fabulous creatures.
> > There are links to several other interesting cephalopod stories at the
> > of this story.
> > Cheers, Doug
> > --
> > Douglas Fenner
> > Ocean Associates, Inc. Contractor
> > NOAA Fisheries Service
> > Pacific Islands Regional Office
> > Honolulu
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> > Pago Pago, American Samoa 96799 USA
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