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Thread: Amazing Octopus - Most Intelligent Animal on Earth?

  1. #1
    Administrator Aragorn's Avatar
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    Amazing Octopus - Most Intelligent Animal on Earth?

    With thanks to our sister Kathy, who posted this at Eye-Rise.





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    "How has the octopus become so intelligent and capable of thinking in the abstract? Watch fascinating and often hilarious experiments to see just how smart they are.

    After this video, you'll never think about the octopus the same.

    In Aliens of the Deep Sea we get to see how octopuses behave in the wild too. Off the coast of Vancouver Island, underwater divers are watched by a huge octopus - a ghost like creature that lurks until it feels it's safe to emerge and be seen. It's an eerie encounter.

    This incredible documentary illustrates why the octopus is one of the ocean's most complex and enigmatic creatures which should be studied, not served in restaurants.

    The octopus uses cognitive reasoning to make deductions and understand its environment. It can shape shift, change color and texture on the fly to blend in with its surroundings to become either predator or defend itself from becoming prey.

    In one novel experiment we see an octopus wrap its tentacles around a screw-top jar that has a crab inside it. In slow but determined fashion, the octopus successfully opens the jar to get to its prey. The jar is unlike anything it would encounter in the wild - the octopus has used cognitive reasoning, not instinct, to catch its well-deserved lunch.

    The octopus has lived side-by-side with humankind from our earliest days. But it's only now that we're beginning to unravel the animal's secrets, and the extent of its formidable brain-power.

    Watch as an octopus slips out of its tank and slithers surreptitiously across a concrete floor. Is it making a break for freedom? Not at all. It knows that its prey is just a short distance away in another tank.

    As we learn, the octopus can move on land as well as underwater and the little round trip it has taken is not just to get from point A to point B. It's also taking this little detour because it's curious about the world it is living in.

    It's hard to believe that this animal is simply a mollusk. As far as his family tree goes, the octopus is more closely related to an oyster or a snail than to any other species of animal.

    And yet, as octopuses behave like shape shifters, moving in and out of tiny openings to get their reward, they are working out solutions the way humans do.

    They are able to think in the abstract.

    In Aliens of the Deep Sea we get to see how octopuses behave in the wild too.

    Amazingly, with all its powerful traits, the octopus has never become king of the sea. Researchers think that it's because of the female's short life span.

    They give up everything, including their life, for their eggs. But this sad reality may also be the reason that octopuses have an innate intelligence they have no choice but to learn by trial and error.

    Just how has an animal that is so different from humans become so intelligent?

    From Spain to Vancouver Island and finally to Capri, Italy, follow scientists as they try to understand how the octopus has evolved to have such intelligence, even by our standards.

    Through fascinating experiments audiences will discover there is still much to know about this mystifying creature."



    DURATION

    44 minutes



    = DEATH BEFORE DISHONOR =

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    Super Moderator United States Dreamtimer's Avatar
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    Related to being alien?

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    Administrator Aragorn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Dreamtimer View Post
    Related to being alien?
    That I do not know, but the Vorlons of "Babylon 5", although energetic beings, were at one point seen in their true form, and they were cephalopods too.
    = DEATH BEFORE DISHONOR =

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    Super Moderator United States Dreamtimer's Avatar
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    From The Atlantic:

    A team of scientists led by Joshua Rosenthal at the Marine Biological Laboratory and Eli Eisenberg at Tel Aviv University have shown that octopuses and their relatives—the cephalopods—practice a type of genetic alteration called RNA editing that’s very rare in the rest of the animal kingdom. They use it to fine-tune the information encoded by their genes without altering the genes themselves. And they do so extensively, to a far greater degree than any other animal group.
    Rosenthal and Eisenberg found that RNA editing is especially rife in the neurons of cephalopods. They use it to re-code genes that are important for their nervous systems—the genes that, as Rosenthal says, “make a nerve cell a nerve cell.” And only the intelligent coleoid cephalopods—octopuses, squid, and cuttlefish—do so.
    Here’s how RNA editing works. Genes encode instructions in the form of DNA—in the sequence of four building blocks represented by the letters A, C, G, and T. For those instructions to be used, the DNA must first be transcribed into a similar molecule called RNA, which contains roughly the same building blocks. The RNA is then translated and used to build proteins—the molecular machines that carry out all the important jobs inside our cells. So DNA stores information, RNA carries it, and proteins are the result of it.
    That’s the simple version. But the RNA often gets altered before it’s used to make proteins. Some of the changes are big—large sections are cut out, and the remaining pieces are glued back together. Other changes are small—sometimes, a single A gets converted into an I (which is functionally equivalent to a G). That’s RNA editing. It’s performed by a group of enzymes called ADARs, which recognize specific sequences of RNA and makes those A-to-I changes.
    In cephalopods, it’s a different story. Back in 2015, Rosenthal and Eisenberg discovered that RNA editing has gone wild in the longfin inshore squid—a foot-long animal that’s commonly used in neuroscience research. While a typical mammal edits its RNA at just a few hundred sites, the squid was making some 57,000 such edits. These changes weren’t happening in discarded sections of RNA, but in the ones that actually go towards building proteins—the so-called coding regions. They were ten times more common in the squid’s neurons than in its other tissues, and they disproportionately affected proteins involved in its nervous system.
    Having been surprised by one cephalopod, the team decided to study others. Liscovitch-Brauer focused on the common cuttlefish, common octopus, and two-spot octopus. All of these showed signs of extensive RNA editing with between 80,000 to 130,000 editing sites each. By contrast, the nautilus—a ancient cephalopod known for its hard, spiral shell—only had 1,000 such sites.
    This distinction is crucial. The nautiluses belong to the earliest lineage of cephalopods, which diverged from the others between 350 and 480 million years ago. They’ve stayed much the same ever since. They have simple brains and unremarkable behavior, and they leave their RNA largely unedited. Meanwhile, the other cephalopods—the coleoids—came to use RNA editing extensively, and while evolving complex brains and extraordinary behavior. Coincidence?
    There's more.

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    Super Moderator United States Dreamtimer's Avatar
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    From the article:



    Not a coleoid:


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    Super Moderator United States Dreamtimer's Avatar
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    Well dang, after watching this I think maybe we should start wearing an octopus on our heads.

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