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Why Squid Are Terror Monsters Of The Sea

Elliott Morgan from SourceFed comes back to DNews and talks with Anthony about just how terrifying (and awesome) squid and octopi are.

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First Footage of Deep-Sea Squid Solves Mystery of Lame Tentacle Club

“Say what you want about squids — too many arms, pointy head, not enough elbows: 2/10 would not take dancing — but when it comes to killing things, they certainly aren’t lacking in creativity.”

First in situ observations of the deep-sea squid Grimalditeuthis bonplandi reveal unique use of tentacles

“The deep-sea squid Grimalditeuthis bonplandi has tentacles unique among known squids.”

Even Severed Octopus Arms Have Smart Moves

“The eight wily arms of an octopus can help the animal catch dinner, open a jar and even complete a convincing disguise. But these arms are not entirely under the control of the octopus’s brain. And new research shows just how deep their independence runs—even when they are detached.”

How Octopus Arms Regenerate With Ease

“Like a starfish, an octopus can regrow lost arms. Unlike a starfish, a severed octopus arm does not regrow another octopus. But the biological secrets inside their arm regeneration feat do hold the promise of learning more about how we might better regenerate our own diseased or lost tissue. If not whole limbs, at least perhaps fresh nerves or organ segments.”

Thinking like an octopus

“If you were an octopus, would you view the world from eight different points of view? Nine?
The answer may depend on how many brains an octopus has, or, to say it another way, whether the robust bunches of neurons in its coiling, writhing, incredibly handy arms bestow on each of them something akin to a brain. Is an octopus a creature ruled by a single consciousness centered in its large brain, or, by dint of its nerve-infused legs, a collaborative, cooperative, but distributed mind?”

Clever octopus tentacles stuffed with neurons

“Octopuses have large nervous systems, centered around relatively large brains. But more than half of their 500 million neurons are found in the arms themselves, Godfrey-Smith said.”

How Smart Is the Octopus?

“Aristotle didn’t have a high opinion of the octopus. “The octopus is a stupid creature,” he wrote, “for it will approach a man’s hand if it be lowered in the water.” Twenty-four centuries later, this “stupid” creature is enjoying a much better reputation.”

Deep Intellect

“ON AN UNSEASONABLY WARM day in the middle of March, I traveled from New Hampshire to the moist, dim sanctuary of the New England Aquarium, hoping to touch an alternate reality. I came to meet Athena, the aquarium’s forty-pound, five-foot-long, two-and-a-half-year-old giant Pacific octopus.”

Cephalopod intelligence

“Cephalopod intelligence has an important comparative aspect in the understanding of intelligence because it relies on a nervous system fundamentally different from that of vertebrates.”

Big thanks to Elliott Morgan of SourceFed for joining us! Check out more from SourceFed at and keep up with Elliott at @elliottcmorgan.

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