Hard to touch this subject...octopii are very ingenious, quite capable of problem solving, etc...while cuttles are certainly the masters of deception and fast moves...mixed bag, all in all...
sort of like people, if you get my drift...
Well, there both smarter in there own ways. In this case, neither is "smarter", because it is relative. Octopi are highly developed thinkers whos eyes and cerebral ganglia are much like our own. They are known for their problem-solving abilities in new situations which can sometimes match that of young children or even teen-agers, as well as the ability to even recognize polarized light. The cuttlefish however, is much more evolved to a more civilized society, as can be observed in Sepia apama, the GIANT Australian Cuttlefish. These Cuttlefish, that get 3" long, are AMAZINGLY civilized. This is shown during breeding, when males fight for females. Rather than try to kill each other, (and, I might add, there can be over 100 cuttlefish in one congregation) the males compete by flashing their most spectacular color patterns to impress the females, only resorting to violence if a loser attempts breeding anyway. Octopi, however, in the same situation, would kill each other.() So it's a mixed package. I, personally, think they are equal.
Well it's pretty hard to measure who's smarter since they're both built differently, for example octos if trapped could find a hole to squeeze out and escape, but a cuttle can't do that unless its a large hole, but that doesn't mean it's not what the cuttle has in mind. Octos are also more dextrous and can manipulate their environment more, maybe this seems more intelligent?
I have kept three pygmies each for about 2-3 months, could never get pics since they were nocturnal and my digicam doesnt have nightshots. Didn't want to scare them with flashes either.
it's kind of a trade off: octopuses, with their sophisticated brain are naaturally better at problem solving (labs report that their octoes learned how to unscrew a bottlecap to get food), whereas cuttlefish, being more socially adept, may have even developed their own form of communication. octo = researcher, cuttle = partygoer.
Not all octopuses are created equal. Some are moderately plastic and can show some types of learning. Others are anything but "intelligent" and are as dull as the knives in a $8 youth hostle. I've kept several species of octopus and most do not impress me with their intellectual abilities. I have kept fewer species of cuttlefish, but diving with them, I am impressed by their variety of hunting tactics and ability to adjust to different conditions. Here, to, however, a cuttle is not a cuttle and there are tremendous differences from species to species.
Cuttles and octopus seem to have different kinds of intelligence. Octos are more tactile, investigating things by manipulating them. Cuttles are more visual, they seem to investigate by looking at the thing closely. Both express curiosity about novel things in their environment. This makes sense with regard to their modes of existence as the fish-like form of cuttles allows them to inspect things visually from many angles, and in fact this is what mine does - hovers around something, pivoting to keep it in view, even moving side to side or up and down perhaps to judge distance. They are a lot more hesitant to grab something, and the other day I discovered why - Lazarus grabbed a crab that was rather large, and after a little struggling the crab managed to reach one of its long legs back far enough to scratch Lazarus's arm and make him drop the crab! He's also dropped a crab before that had managed to pinch him with a claw because he hadn't grabbed ot quite right or his timing was a bit off.
Octos are more likely to reach out and touch something (even your fingers) immediately to get more information about it. Or eat it!
i have noticed, that octos are more touchy feely, where as cuttles are more observative, for proublem solving, i would side with octo's, with decision making i would go with cuttles, with communication i would go with cuttles, both have shown to comprehend there reflection to some degree. i have noticed that when i put my finger in the cuttle net, the cuttle with observe it for a while, then touch it, whereas when i had my octo it would go right to it. but total IQ, i would have to go with the octo, maily because of its problem solving abilities, almost like an autistic individual, verry intelegent machenicaly, but lacking social knoledge. where as a cuttle is more like a moderatly smart socialite.
I reckon our P.cordiformis is right up there in the intelligence stakes (OK well.............at least some of them are........ ) We had one that took exception to the tank lights and at some stage must've accidentally squirted water in the socket (or onto the hot bulb), of course the bulb blew after that we couldn't keep up with it, we were putting in new bulbs every couple of hours! (and yes we did get the electrician to make sure there was no fault in the electrics...didn't want to be zapped!) but this particular octopus had sussed water+bulb=no light, so we let it go (was getting very expensive!) and we got the lights altered and for good measure covered them with perspex!
I find that octopi generally get the credit for being brilliant, and I mostly agree with this, but I think that cuttles have closed the gap considerably, not that they have become a topic of much research!