sea creatures The Most Interesting Facts About Cephalopod Intelligence  

Katherine Ripley
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List Rules Vote up the coolest things you didn't already know about cephalopod (that means octopuses and stuff) intelligence.

Cephalopods are a group of invertebrates that includes squids, octopuses, and cuttlefish. Scientists are constantly learning new things about the intelligence of these animals. This list includes the most interesting things we know about cephalopod intelligence.

So how smart are cephalopods? Their intelligence is actually pretty difficult to assess since cephalopods display intelligence in ways that are very different from humans. But we'll give you the facts about the smartest cephalopods and let you decide how mind-blowing they are. Vote up the fact that you think is the coolest.
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They Can See with Their Skin


They Can See with Their Skin is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Most Interesting Facts About Cephalopod Intelligence
Photo:  Matt Chan/via Flickr/CC BY-ND 2.0
Scientists believe that cephalopods are colorblind - at least when they are looking with their eyes. Researchers recently discovered that a cuttlefish's skin contains gene sequences that are usually only found in the retina, the part of the eye that takes in light. This may explain why cephalopods can change color to match their surroundings, even though their eyes probably cannot see color.
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They Play


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Video: YouTube
"Play" is defined as a useless activity (not necessary for survival) which a creature does deliberately and repeatedly in order to explore the world. To determine whether octopuses play, two scientists presented eight octopuses with various empty floating pill bottles to see what they would do. Two of the octopuses repeatedly blew the bottles into the jets of their tanks, as if they were playing with balls.
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Most of Their Neurons Are in Their Arms


Most of Their Neurons Are in T... is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Most Interesting Facts About Cephalopod Intelligence
Photo:  damn_unique/via Flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0
About three-fifths of a cephalopod's neurons are not in its brain: they're in its arms and tentacles. One reason for this is that cephalopods change color using skin cells called chromatophores, and these cells are so complex that they need to be operated by several muscles, each of which is connected to a neural cell.
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They Have a Different Kind of Intelligence


They Have a Different Kind of ... is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Most Interesting Facts About Cephalopod Intelligence
Photo:  MartinStr/via Pixabay
Cephalopod intelligence and human intelligence evolved for very different reasons, so they are in many ways incomparable to each other. Scientists think human intelligence became advanced so that our ancestors could better relate to each other in the groups they lived in. Cephalopods, on the other hand, have no social interaction with each other except for mating. Their intelligence probably evolved so they could evade the predators who found their soft bodies a delightfully easy meal.
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