An octopus' intelligence compared to the dog...

Discussion in 'Physiology and Biology' started by Armstrong, Nov 2, 2005.

  1. Armstrong

    Armstrong Vampyroteuthis Registered

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    Their intelligence...im sure is something many of you are already aware of and of course they are very intelligent when it comes to behavior. While reading a book I own called "Octopus and Squid: The Soft Intelligence" which you guys probably might have heard of or even own, the author Jacques-Yves Cousteau reveals some rare...and very interesting information based on personal experiences with these creatures. Even though I read this book, some stuff had caught my attention that isn't commonly studied or at least...put out in the media.

    One of them was the author's comparison between a dog's intelligence and an octopus' intelligence. I was soo happy to actually see this because my older friend had recently argued with me that Dogs are a lot more intelligent than an octopus. However, it seems the other way around in certain circumstances.

    Taken from the book:

    "When one thinks of how long it takes to teach a dog something as simple as sitting up or shaking hands, one must admit that an octopus learns very quickly; and that above all, it teaches itself. We did not show it what to do. With a dog, it takes months of patient work before the animal will do what one wants it to do. The difference between a dog learning and an octopus learning is the difference between training an animal and allowing an animal to exorcise its intelligence in determining the means to be used to overcome an obstacle in certain circumstances."


    Another quick interesting observation was an octopus "thought" to be having "respect for the dead."? The divers found a dead octopus corpse partially crushed at the bottom of the sea floor which had turned white. They decided to see what would happen if it were to be taken to a hole at another octopus' den.

    "The octopus immediately came out of its hole, took the corpse, and carried it to a spot twenty-five or thirty feet away. Then, it returned to its house. Why did it do this? We do not know. We would have thought that it might eat the remains of the dead octopus-which is what generally happens when an octopus is killed in a fight. In the behavior of octopuses, their are subtleties which escape our understanding. It seems a bit far-fetched to speak of 'respect for the dead' among octopuses. It is more likely that given the octopus' highly developed senses of taste and smell, and its sensitivity to chemical emanations, it finds a corpse somehow 'disagreeable.' Even in this context, however, the octopus' behavior is suprising. The almost human act of picking up the offending corpse to carry it away from the octopus' house presupposes a series of thoughts and judgments of which few animals are capable."


    Interesting experiences huh? There's so much more though from this book. Im not advertising it, but trying to see what you guys think of the neat info about octopuses in general. Especially how far their intelligence can push it...there's so much more to learn from them. Their incredible animals.
     
  2. Feelers

    Feelers Vampyroteuthis Registered

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    Its funny that you mention that book, I returned it to the library yesterday!! Very interesting, its not too scientific, but I liked it because of that, its more of a (real) story than most ceph books. He gives you a great description of how octopus' personalties make them so interesting.

    My non - ceph flatmate even read it! Its just the book to get people into octo keeping. Nice pictures aswell.
     
  3. corw314

    corw314 Colossal Squid Staff Member Moderator

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    I have this book sitting in my bookcase and I probably bought it about 20 years ago but have never taken the time to read it from cover to cover. Armstrong, you have inspired me to make this my next reading!

    Carol
     
  4. Armstrong

    Armstrong Vampyroteuthis Registered

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    Oh, thank you. You better read it...cause trust me, he has some really fascinating stories to tell you. And lots of the book is based on their intelligence.

    The story's of octo's climbing out of tanks and into other tanks at night in capivity is one of the more commonly told stories based on their phsyical compisition and intelligence. These stories are real, and have been filmed and shown on TV. It's interesting. Of course the greatest example of them would be the opening of a plug or bum out of a jar to get a crab inside. Even though this example is commonly used, the octopus and squid book gives into detail about what fascinating features the animal possesses to perform the actual act. One of the components...is learning, and NOT be taught. It takes brains to do that...lol.


    O ya, I also remembered someone asking how a "blind" octopus has the ability to change color in the water without being able to see its surroundings. If you read this book..the author describes it, and yes, the lighr reflective discs on an octopus' skin surface do infact aid them autimatically in camoulflage in the wild. There's more to it, but I wanna read the whole thing first to dig out the main facts.
     
  5. Feelers

    Feelers Vampyroteuthis Registered

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    Haha that was me, but I didnt read the whole book unfortunately as it was due back, I might just get the book out again ,
     
  6. Nancy

    Nancy Titanites Staff Member Moderator

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    I have the book on my shelf, too, but have only read parts of it.
    However, I was struck by things my bimac did that resembled what my Dachshund had done. For instance, octos like silly games like Pull the Stick, my dog liked Pull the Towel. Both played in the same way, trying to tempt you and then pulling the object away!

    Nancy
     
  7. Jean

    Jean Colossal Squid Supporter

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    Yup and our Miniature Pinscher, Diablo is just about as naughty as Hannibal! Last week spent ages fishing Hannibal out of the drain, went home to chase Diablo down the street after he slithered out between the gate and the fence.:mad:

    J
     
  8. Armstrong

    Armstrong Vampyroteuthis Registered

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    Yeah, its fascinating. I do think that they are very much alike when it comes to behavior. Cats as well. Both are very curious and observing.
     
  9. joefish84

    joefish84 Sepia elegans Registered

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    i think that its more of a question of the task given. an octopus will learn things in order to get to food or create cover or explore its surroundings and it has a good memory to do it again. but take a hunting dog for example they learn things such as retrieving birds and tracking deer knowing that its a job and not a game. they stop playing and start working when you take them into a field. because of this their knowledge is not food or curiosity based its more that they know they have to do it in order to be praised. now this in my opinion is completely different from a octopus's intelligence which cannot be compared to a dogs not because they are not as smart but because they learn for two completely different reasons so their task are different. although it would be cool to teach an octopus to retrieve a ball or a hooked fish for that matter
     
  10. Jean

    Jean Colossal Squid Supporter

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    We taught Harry (at least i think it was harry!) our octopus to retrieve a toy crab out of one of those shape sorter balls for kids.....did it in 10 seconds (yes we timed him!) then we got visiting school teachers to do it and only 1 beat Harry's time!

    J
     
  11. joefish84

    joefish84 Sepia elegans Registered

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    thats pretty cool if i could get mine to retrieve then i might take it hunting instead of my dog
     
  12. bigGdelta

    bigGdelta Vampyroteuthis Supporter

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    Ok joe the ocean is on the way just as soon as I find an appropriate shipping container.
     
  13. OB

    OB Colossal Squid Staff Member Moderator

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    Just make sure to note whether that's with or without the Lembeh Strait:smile:
     

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