JUN 28, 2016 8:57 AM PDT

The Intelligent Octopus

WRITTEN BY: Xuan Pham

Octopuses are one of the greatest attractions of any worthwhile aquariums. Classified as a cephalopod, just the appearance of the eight arms covered with suction cups makes the octopus captivating creatures. The fluid elegance of its movements are also mesmerizing to behold. But beyond physical appearances, octopuses have gained notoriety for its incredible intelligence.

Famously, these creatures can alter not only their color, but also the texture of their skin to blend in with the environment and avoid predators. They have also been observed to use tools, such as converting empty coconut shells into shelters. There's also evidence that octopuses can play with toys, respond to music, and learn how to open jars … from the outside AND the inside. The octopus' intelligence is often credited for its sneaky escapes from tight corners, literally. Just a few months ago, Inky the octopus made global headlines for his stealthy escape from the National Aquarium of New Zealand.

Indeed these creatures are exquisite and cunning. And it all might be due to the presence of independent brains in their arms! Do octopus operate with eight brains? Watch to find out!
About the Author
  • I am a human geneticist, passionate about telling stories to make science more engaging and approachable. Find more of my writing at the Hopkins BioMedical Odyssey blog and at TheGeneTwist.com.
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