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April 29, 2019 - 3 Quarks Dailiy

Do Octopuses Have Souls? (On the Nature of Animal Consciousness)

Do Octopuses Have Souls? (On the Nature of Animal Consciousness)
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Sy Montgomery, in her Soul of an Octopus: A Surprising Exploration Into the Wonder of Consciousness, says it like this about octopus intelligence:

We split from our common ancestor with the octopus half a billion years ago. And yet, you can make friends with an octopus.

They certainly look alien. With three hearts pumping blue, copper-infused blood, their tentacles (“each with a mind of its own”) are covered in suckers that can feel AND taste. They are like the Great Houdinis of the deep! Without a hard shell like other mollusks, octopuses have evolved clever ways for keeping a step ahead of predators: Not only can they change colors to camouflage themselves, blending into almost any watery environment, but they can also send out ink bombs.

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