The Mystery of Octopus Intelligence
“O Lord, how great are thy works! and thy thoughts are very deep. A brutish man knoweth not; neither doth a fool understand this.”
Researchers in the 1950s and '60s established that the octopus is quite intelligent and can learn different visual patterns. Octopi have very large brains with large areas reserved for storing information. New research has shown that they are even more intelligent than earlier studies revealed. These findings run counter to evolutionary theory, which says that intelligence evolves in social species to help them deal with social relationships. The octopus is not a social animal and operates alone.
Unlike other animals, octopi use a variety of strategies to solve the same problem. They can use their eight powerful arms to open clams, or they can drill through the shell and inject a fast-acting poison. In the laboratory, octopi kept in isolation were given a floating plastic bottle. The bored octopuses quickly devised a variety of games to play with the bottle - a sure sign of intelligence.
The Creator gave the octopus the ability to learn a lot so it could cope with its unusual way of life. Octopi begin life as tiny plankton that drift with the ocean currents. When they finally settle to the bottom, they may find themselves in any of the many habitats provided by the ocean and face any variety of predators and food sources. Thus, their Creator designed them with the ability to learn how to adapt to a large variety of habitats and situations.
Prayer: Lord, help me to faithfully use the intelligence You have given me. Amen.
Notes: The Cephalopod Page (on-line).
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