Re: Intelligence paradox in octopus and squid

On 2011-07-01, Darwin123 <drosen0000@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
On Jun 27, 1:31 pm, Anthony Campbell <a...@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:


Cannibalism may also make a short life more viable in terms of long
genetic survival. The wisdom that comes with old age is not as
valuable as the loss of appetite that comes with laying eggs and
donating sperm. In fact, the old octopus is a threat to the larva.
Octopuses eat their own kind. They will eat their own offspring
without a thought. If there was a wise old octopus crawling around, he
would be a threat compared to the young octopus. The old octopus will
learn where all the larva are hiding. He will eat them. So even though
it is advantageous to learn quickly, there is a disadvantage to living
past sexual maturity. Natural selection favors the octopus that takes
itself out of population, fast.
Mammals are not inclined to eat their children. So their children
can learn from the old folk more readily.

Thanks for the interesting information about octopus intelligence and
behaviour. I particularly like the idea of octopus boredom.

I still think the phenomenon of octopus intelligence is very surprising.
The molluscs as a group are not remarkable for their intelligence. In at
least some species, intelligence seems to have evolved as a response to
group living and social pressures; the expansion of the human brain in
the last million years has been attributed to this. Evidently it doesn't
apply to the octopus.

If high intelligence is such a good resource to develop for survival, it
is surprising that it is so relatively rare.

Anthony Campbell - ac@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Microsoft-free zone - Using Debian GNU/Linux - sample my ebooks at


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