Despite having many tentacles with many suckers, without bones, octopuses have eyes, brains and curiosity just like us.
The closest ancestor we have in common with the octopus existed 500 million years ago. Why do they have so many similarities with humans and so many similarities with “alien”? Despite having many tentacles with many suckers, without bones, octopuses have eyes, brains and curiosity just like us.
In history books as well as behavioral studies, the intelligence of the octopus always has a certain place. They have the ability to perceive through the mechanisms of receiving, processing, transforming, remembering information and making decisions to act.
From a behavioral perspective, an individual’s ability to adapt and adjust behavior to suit new circumstances is a sign of good cognitive ability. Numerous studies have shown that octopuses have a high degree of behavioral flexibility, whether in their native environment or in the laboratory.
Why are they so smart?
First, consider the octopus’s defense mechanism. When encountering many predators including birds, sea fish, whales or sharks, the octopus becomes an expert in camouflage. They can simulate the environment by changing the color and surface of the skin.
Because they have no shells, octopuses are very vulnerable and often hide in gaps under rocks or crevices. Some species of octopus also know how to renovate “houses” by removing sand and attaching pearls and pebbles. Some like to lie down in one place, some bring the whole family when traveling, especially the ‘coconut octopus’ species. As the name suggests, they always carry a coconut shell with them, in case danger can hide in an instant.
The octopus is also a formidable hunter, and the attack mechanism is suitable for a variety of prey including shellfish, fish, jellyfish, and crustaceans. They can use their vision and master camouflage to hunt, using their tentacles to explore, taste, and feel their surroundings.
The octopus is also a skilled hunter. They can combine with other species to find hidden prey. They know how to avoid poisonous crabs and find a way to attack without being stung.
Octopuses use a variety of techniques to eat shellfish such as scallops and crustaceans, either opening them with force or inserting rocks in the middle to keep the shells open, or even drilling through the shells to inject poison. into causing the prey to sacrifice themselves.
No bones but brains
We can evaluate the cognitive ability of the octopus through tests. In the EthoS lab, scientists are studying their memory and planning abilities.
Their extraordinary strength allows octopuses to easily destroy equipment such as waterproof cameras. They can find a way to open and let the camera soak in water to destroy. And since octopuses have no bones, they can easily escape through the tiniest openings. They are very curious and often spend time tinkering with anything they are given.
The action of opening jars is often applied to show the octopus’s prodigy intelligence, but this is not the most respectable skill an octopus has. They can figure out how to rotate to pass an L-shaped object through a small opening.
Octopuses also have very good selective learning abilities. When given a choice between two objects, they have the ability to retain information about the choice for months. They also demonstrate the ability to form complex thought processes, in which they must apply the rules they have just learned in a new task. Also octopuses can change their mind based on context. They can perceive space, find shelters through memory of location.
Finally, they can also learn through watching other instances perform the task. This is quite surprising because they like to live in solitude.
Smart, but not the best
Octopus met all the criteria for intelligence: the ability to collect information flexibly, learn, process information, remember and adapt to situations. Even so, their reactions are quite erratic, especially in image discrimination tasks, with only 80% accuracy while other species complete 100%.
They can be very clever, but they are just like mischievous schoolboys. If the group of cuttlefish species is considered a class, then cuttlefish is at the top of the class. Although cuttlefish is not very popular, it is currently the subject of research in many large projects. They have the ability to learn complex laws and apply them perfectly.