Tuesday, December 15, 2009

I For One, Welcome Our Invertebrate Overlords

You may not know this about the crew of IDYFT, but we are big fans of cephalopods. The fun of them is of course their curious amount of brain power, despite their short lives. Weird biology is neat, dammit.

So kudos to a bunch of Aussie Scientists, who were strangely not all named Bruce, who found an octopus who uses tools, or at least carries stuff from one location to another for later use. In this case, coconut shells.

From the AP's Kristen Gelineau:

Octopuses often use foreign objects as shelter. But the scientists found the veined octopus going a step further by preparing the shells, carrying them long distances and reassembling them as shelter elsewhere. That's an example of tool use, which has never been recorded in invertebrates before, Finn said.

"What makes it different from a hermit crab is this octopus collects shells for later use, so when it's transporting it, it's not getting any protection from it," Finn said. "It's that collecting it to use it later that is unusual."

update: Video!


Andrew Wice said...

They are fascinating creatures.

Some of you may have been favored with my account of nearly being killed by a Giant Pacific Octopus when I was working at the National Zoo.

A real true-life adventure!

Jess said...

The video of this on CNN tonight was followed by news of ABBA headlining the newest induction class to the Rock 'N' Roll Hall of Fame.

I'm not sure what that means, but it must mean something.