Scientists at the University of Queensland have linked octopuses' behavior to unique brain properties To do this, the researchers analyzed tomographic images of the central nervous system of four species of cephalopods, which made it possible to compare the unique structures of the brain and associate them with behavior. The results of the scientific work are presented in an article published in the journal Current Biology.
Biologists have found that the brains of octopuses differ depending on where the species lives, how it interacts with other animals and at what time of day it is active. They analyzed the central nervous system of a deep-sea octopus, as well as a nocturnal mollusk and two reef dwellers awake during the day. It turned out that mental abilities significantly affect the anatomy of the brain.
The octopus, found in deep waters, had a smooth brain, like the brain of marsupials and rodents, characterized by a slow pace of life and limited interaction with other animals. Reef octopuses had significantly larger brains, with some of the characteristics of primates, and adapted for complex visual tasks and social interaction in well-lit environments.
The ability to perceive and respond to gestures from other animal species during a joint hunting demonstrates that octopuses have complex cognitive abilities. For example, scientists have observed joint hunting with fish that live among corals. A larger surface area of the brain indicates a more complex nervous system and enhanced mental capacity.