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Smart Animal Log: Why I Don’t Eat Octopus

February 14, 2012

Photograph: Brandon Cole

A Deep Intelligence Lies Inside the Mind of the Octopus

FROM ORION (Sy Montgomery): “Only recently have scientists accorded chimpanzees, so closely related to humans we can share blood transfusions, the dignity of having a mind. But now, increasingly, researchers who study octopuses are convinced that these boneless, alien animals—creatures whose ancestors diverged from the lineage that would lead to ours roughly 500 to 700 million years ago—have developed intelligence, emotions, and individual personalities. Their findings are challenging our understanding of consciousness itself.”

This is a beautifully written and compelling article by Sy Montgomery. He allows us to shadow his encounter with Athena, a giant pacific octopus, and eavesdrop on his conversations with animal behaviorists who study these complex creatures and have jaw dropping tales to tell. Much more than a report on octopus intelligence, this piece offers a window into a whole other realm of life of earth — and a philosophical exploration of the concept of mind. Truly awe inspiring.

Read the article here.

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