Monday, February 28, 2011

Are You Smarter than an Octopus?

Coconut-Carrying Octopus Stuns Scientists
Homebuilding is first time tool use has been seen among octopi
(Newser) – Australian scientists observing octopi on the sea floor near Indonesia were amazed to discover that the creatures scoop up coconut halves, empty them out, and carry them around to assemble into shelters. The behavior shows a surprising level of intelligence, the researchers say, and is the first recorded instance of tool use among octopi or any invertebrate creature.  "What makes it different from a hermit crab is this octopus collects shells for later use, so when it's transporting them it's not getting any protection from them," one of the scientists tells AP. "It's that collecting it to use it later that is unusual."

I know people who don't show that level of forethought.

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