Sea Creatures

The Most Interesting Facts About Cephalopod Intelligence 

Katherine Ripley
436 votes 126 voters 12k views 14 items

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.
They Can Solve Puzzles
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Video: YouTube
Octopuses can learn how to open jars to retrieve a meal. One octopus even learned how to open a child-proof jar. Octopuses are also notorious escape artists. An octopus named Inky escaped from his tank in the New Zealand National Aquarium and slithered into a drain pipe that led to the ocean.
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They Can See with Their Skin
They Can See with Their ... is listed (or ranked) 2 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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Each Arm Can 'Think'
Each Arm Can 'Think' is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Most Interesting Facts About Cephalopod Intelligence
Photo:  anjadrops/via Flickr/CC BY-ND 2.0
Researchers once did an experiment where they cut off an octopus's arm (don't worry - the arm will grow back). The arm crawled on its own, grabbed a piece of food, and passed it to where the mouth would be if the arm was still attached to the body.
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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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