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Smart Mr. Octopus

DHyslop

Architeuthis
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Joined
Dec 22, 2004
Messages
1,713
At the store today I saw a small plastic tube full of Sweetarts with a flip-top lid. It took Mr. Octopus about a minute to open the lid and get at the crab within. After he had pulled it out he held tight to the container and floated around the aquarium for a few minutes.

I wasn't able to get the camera in time for the action, but here is afterward.









 

magikceph

O. vulgaris
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Apr 12, 2007
Messages
82
so your saying you put a crab in a tube with a flip-top lid and stuck it in there, and your octopus fliped the lid off and ate the crab. WOW, he is really intelligent.
 

Neogonodactylus

Haliphron Atlanticus
Staff member
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Mar 17, 2003
Messages
662
What part of this story says that the octopus is intelligent? The octopus saw the crab, started pulling on the tube to get at it, by chance latched onto the lid which pulled open, and it gets the crab. The octopus, as far as I can tell from the posting, had no previous experience with the tube, had not seen how it opened, etc. It was pure luck that it grasped it in the right location and opened it. Next time it will probably focus its attention on the lid and perhaps will open it sooner. After a few trials, it may even get proficient at opening the tube. That will demonstrate some learning ability that you might want to call "intelligence". The first trial simple described a hungry octopus pulling at a barrier that it does not understand.

Roy
 

Michael Blue

Wonderpus
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Apr 3, 2007
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185
I see what you're saying (even if you are Mr. Downer this morning, lol!) but if the Octo didn't have some intelligence at all, wouldn't it have simply wrapped itself around th part of the tube with the food in it and simply constricted and bit?

From a purely clinical standpoint your argument has some merit, but there are many animals who wouldn't have opened it at all...
 
Joined
Sep 16, 2005
Messages
4,936
Umm... Roy is a professor specializing in behavior of invertebrates. He is just stating that what you might observe and label as intelligence, may be some other type of behavior.
 

magikceph

O. vulgaris
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Joined
Apr 12, 2007
Messages
82
that was low, man... but i guess you could be right, im just saying if it was completely irrational and had absoluetly no intelligence, it probably would try to crack the bottle open, at the point where the crap was. Now if and only if the crab was at the bottom of the tube,next to the lid, it could have a chance of opening the lid out of pure luck. Therefore, it must have some intelligence.


....and i was trying to sound smart.
 
Joined
Jan 3, 2007
Messages
63
DHyslop,
I noticed the white spots on the black background of your tank.....are those baby snails?
I ask because both my tanks are dotted with them.
They must have been hitchhiking in and on my live rock.
Lastly I was wondering what species is Mr. Octopus?
 

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