Wednesday, August 22, 2012


 Octopi have consciousness. Consciousness is one of the ways we humans explain our position at the tippy top of the food chain. But scientists are starting to doubt that we alone are conscious. The new Cambridge Declaration on Consciousness—a document signed by neuroscientists of all stripes—argues that octopi, elephants and chimpanzees all exhibit signs of advanced thought. "The weight of evidence indicates that humans are not unique in possessing the neurological substrates that generate consciousness," the researchers write. 'Non-human animals, including all mammals and birds, and many other creatures, including octopuses, also possess these neurological substrates." The octopus earned its way on to the list by virtue of its ability to collect coconut shells and use them as a portable means of shelter. Tool use such as this denotes significant problem solving and memory skills, scientists believe. [Scientific American]


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