Animals difficult to tame: the octopus

The octopus is one of the most striking marine animals for its unmistakable appearance, its large bulbous head and its various tentacles. However, these mollusks also stand out for their great intelligence and can get bored easily if they do not have a well stimulated mind.

Next, we will go beyond the presentation of the basic characteristics and habitat of octopuses. We will talk about the amazing cognitive ability of the octopus and its curious ease to get bored . It's about you getting to know more and better this interesting species.

Some basic facts about octopuses

Octopuses are mollusks cephalopods, that have eight tentacles (octopods) filled with suckers. Like squids and cuttlefish, octopuses lack the external protection characteristic of molluscs such as mussels.

It is a carnivorous animal whose diet is based on the consumption of a large variety of marine animals . The diet of the octopus includes crustaceans (lobsters, crabs and shrimps), mollusks (clams and mussels), and a great diversity of fish.

This curious species of the sea also eats algae to supplement its nutrition , because they offer a high supply of high quality fibers, vitamins, minerals and proteins.

Curiously, the striking giant octopi can consume large fish, such as Sharks In addition, they can take advantage to capture small birds that splash absentmindedly on the surface of the water.

Octopus intelligence

Octopus habitat and longevity

The octopus shows preference for salty waters tropical and temperate regions. They usually live near coral reefs, where they find many cracks and holes to make their 'dens'. They can also live under rocks to protect themselves and hide from their predators.

However, thanks to its privileged adaptive capacity, its population has expanded to almost all the world's oceans. Interestingly, it is observed that the specimens that live in warmer areas are small or medium, while cold water octopuses stand out because of their large size.

The longevity of octopuses is very variable and depends mainly on the species being analyzed. In captivity, this mollusc can live for about five years under optimal conditions. However, their life expectancy in the natural habitat is calculated between one and two years.

The great intelligence of octopuses and their ease to get bored

According to experts, the cognitive capacity of octopi can be compared, in some theoretical aspects, to that of human beings . However, its evolution has been so different from ours that it becomes impossible to establish a real comparison pattern between our intelligences.

Just to mention an example: octopi have only one third of their neurons in your brain. The other two thirds are distributed by their tentacles, so their nervous system is very complex and their 'arms' have sophisticated reflections.

Octopus drug

Why do octopuses get bored easily?

Although his intelligence was already well known, a striking and striking fact is that the octopus gets bored very easily. They need to regularly introduce new games and puzzles to keep them mentally active and have a stable behavior.

The strange and controversial experimentation with ecstasy in octopuses

The biologists Eric Edsinger and Gül Dölen have come up with a controversial and strange experiment about the nervous system of the octopus and its possible similarities with the human being.

For this, have decided to pour liquid ecstasy into the octopus' water in a controlled environment . His goal was to observe his nervous response and social behavior after exposure to the hallucinogenic substance.

They have been surprised to see that, like humans, octopuses become friendlier or more sociable with humans. effect of ecstasy. This happens because its molecules combine with a protein in the neurons, which produces high levels of serotonin, better known as 'the happiness hormone'.

The most curious thing is that this protein is found in the SLC6A4 gene, which makes up the genome of octopuses and humans. Because of this, his research opens the doors to the possibility again that there are more coincidences between the intelligence and the nervous system of people and mollusks.