The octopus- an evolutionary anomaly?

Discussion in 'Behavior and Intelligence' started by Bob the kracken, Apr 6, 2007.

  1. Bob the kracken

    Bob the kracken Wonderpus Registered

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2007
    Messages:
    181
    Likes Received:
    1
    i was hoping you experts in octopus behavior could help me with this one. as you all know the octopus has a short lifespan, a birth, a growth period, just long enough to mate, reproduction, then death. this simple sequence of events makes it seem as though the octo has only one purpose in life, to mate and reproduce. and yet they are so intelligent. the reason for this is not apparent to me, i see no reason for them to be intelligent, they just are. :confused:
     
  2. OB

    OB Colossal Squid Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2003
    Messages:
    3,084
    Likes Received:
    46
    Well, take a long hard look at Homo sapiens, and I think you'll draw a very similar conclusion.

    If intelligence enhances the chances of reproduction, it can and will become a selective pressurepoint. The more intrigueing question is probably why octopus are so intelligent without having any social structures...
     
    #2    Top
  3. Bob the kracken

    Bob the kracken Wonderpus Registered

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2007
    Messages:
    181
    Likes Received:
    1
    what was their closest ancestor with a social system. i could be wrong but didn't they first orrigionate from cuttlefish
     
  4. cuttlegirl

    cuttlegirl Colossal Squid Supporter Registered

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2005
    Messages:
    4,891
    Likes Received:
    236
    Location:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Umm... no, they didn't originate from cuttlefish.

    See this thread.
    http://www.tonmo.com/community/index.php?threads/4620/
     
  5. OB

    OB Colossal Squid Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2003
    Messages:
    3,084
    Likes Received:
    46
    #5    Top
  6. Bob the kracken

    Bob the kracken Wonderpus Registered

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2007
    Messages:
    181
    Likes Received:
    1
  7. cuttlegirl

    cuttlegirl Colossal Squid Supporter Registered

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2005
    Messages:
    4,891
    Likes Received:
    236
    Location:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Sorry, I wasn't trying to make you feel like a moron, sorry. It is an interesting question, we don't really know how social fossil cephalopods were...
     
  8. Phil

    Phil Colossal Squid Supporter Registered

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2002
    Messages:
    3,034
    Likes Received:
    16
    No, almost certainly not I'm afraid Bob. The common ancestor of cuttlefish and octopus probably existed way back in the Devonian, a strange primitive internally shelled ceph in a time so distant that it even predated the ammonoids. It's hard to be certain given the lack of fossils, but cuttles probably evolved from the Teuthid squids in the Cretaceous or possibly the early Tertiary, though it is possible they had a lineage that linked to the earlier belemnoids. Octopus evolved along an entirely seperate lineage post-Devonian.

    At least that's how I understand it. If anyone knows any different, please shout.

    As Cuttlegirl says, it's impossible to determine social organisation amongst fossil coleoid cephalopods.
     
  9. WhiteKiboko

    WhiteKiboko Colossal Squid Supporter Registered

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2003
    Messages:
    2,702
    Likes Received:
    15
    Location:
    Charleston
  10. Phil

    Phil Colossal Squid Supporter Registered

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2002
    Messages:
    3,034
    Likes Received:
    16
    Ah, thanks WK sir. It was cobbled together out of a couple of charts in Clarkson's Invertebrate Palaeontology and Evolution, so please don't think I invented it! The whole area around cuttlefish/squid should be riddled with question marks as to ancestral lineages, as that whole area is highly speculative.
     
  11. zyan silver

    zyan silver O. bimaculoides Registered

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2006
    Messages:
    51
    Likes Received:
    0
    they have a social system in our house. they are the bosses and we are the masters keepers! ( i thought it deserved a exclamation point). zy
     
  12. Phil

    Phil Colossal Squid Supporter Registered

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2002
    Messages:
    3,034
    Likes Received:
    16
    :lol:
     
  13. WhiteKiboko

    WhiteKiboko Colossal Squid Supporter Registered

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2003
    Messages:
    2,702
    Likes Received:
    15
    Location:
    Charleston
    Pfft. At least you went to the trouble of making little pictures of the critters.... :grin:
     
  14. Cairnos

    Cairnos O. vulgaris Registered

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2007
    Messages:
    98
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'm going to take a stab in the dark here and suggest that social structure and opportunistic cannabalism are mutually exclusive survival strategies. :twocents:
     
  15. Jean

    Jean Colossal Squid Supporter

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2002
    Messages:
    4,218
    Likes Received:
    138
    Location:
    Dunedin, New Zealand
    hmmm if you annoy me I"LL EAT YOU!, has a certain ring to it, doesn't it? :lol:

    Could be useful when dealing with recalcitrant students, I can just see it as my door plate..............:lol: :lol:

    J
     
  16. pipsquek

    pipsquek Wonderpus Supporter

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2003
    Messages:
    216
    Likes Received:
    0

    I can't say I would agree with that. In your neck of the woods, the Maoris come to mind as social and occasionally canabalistic. As for my own lineage, quite a few native american cultures, particularly Central and Southern, have practiced canabalism.
     
  17. monty

    monty Colossal Squid Staff Member Supporter

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2004
    Messages:
    4,887
    Likes Received:
    11
    Dosidicus seems to be both social and have opportunistic cannibalism, too. I also recently saw a talk on swarm behavior by a researcher who found that locust (and mormon cricket) swarming is driven by cannibalism as well, when food becomes scarce, so it's actually directly tied to group behavior.
     
  18. sorseress

    sorseress Colossal Squid Supporter

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Messages:
    3,026
    Likes Received:
    1
     
  19. cuttlegirl

    cuttlegirl Colossal Squid Supporter Registered

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2005
    Messages:
    4,891
    Likes Received:
    236
    Location:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    I was thinking it would be more useful on dates... Keep your tentacles to yourself or I'LL EAT YOU! It would have helped me on a few occasions.
     
  20. Michael Blue

    Michael Blue Wonderpus Registered

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2007
    Messages:
    185
    Likes Received:
    0
    (not touching that one with a 10' pole) :lol:
     

Share This Page