Octopus (Reaktion Books - Animal)
Our relationship to the octopus dates back to prehistory, when the eight-armed animal was depicted on vases and found in stone carvings from ancient Greece. Now we appreciate them for their abilities as escape artists, with sophisticated camouflage systems and ink jets—as well as their roles in tasty dishes from many cuisines. Octopuses are also among the most intelligent invertebrates in the world, with mental capacity comparable to that of a dog. In this heavily illustrated book, Richard Schweid details this animal’s remarkable natural history and its multifaceted relationship with humans.
anything previously attributed to a cephalopod. If an invertebrate such as an octopus and a vertebrate like a primate develop similar mental capacities for the organization of information, understanding the biology of how this is done could reveal a basic functional principle of evolution shared by vertebrate and invertebrate alike. Born and raised in Naples, Graziano Fiorito turned down a chance to join E. O. Wilson’s group at Harvard in the mid-1980s in order to accept an offer from the
owner of the Octopus Garden, a wholesaler of octopus to some of New York’s finest restaurants. He is a short, trim, energetic man whose workday begins at 5 a.m. in Brooklyn, preparing the day’s octopuses for shipment and loading them on delivery trucks. That night, they will grace the plates of people dining in some of New York’s most exclusive restaurants. Cutrone told me he has yet to buy O. maya, because his customers want O. vulgaris. I’ve tried it, and I’m not sure there’s any difference in
Disney’s Peter Pan franchise machine. The Disney Studios do not hold exclusive rights to octopus calumny on television, according to Anderson. Among the scant octopus appearances on the small screen, he notes an episode of The Lucy Show in 1964 which portrayed Lucille Ball having a nightmare in which she visits a haunted castle and encounters various monsters, including an octopus. A Baywatch episode from 1992 has the hunky men and women of the southern California lifeguard squad encountering a
hold it, to touch it and, in turn, to let it sample them with all its octopus senses. But they had better be careful, because octopuses bite. Their beaks can deliver a serious wound. This doesn’t necessarily mean that people should avoid keeping octopuses as pets, or even that they should not handle them. It does, however, reinforce the rule that they should know which species they are acquiring. The most dangerous is a small brown octopus, Hapalochlaena maculosa, also called the blue-ringed
characterized in captivity.5 Among the earliest research in learning done at the Stazione was a series of experiments by the German researcher Jakob von Uexküll in 1905. Uexküll was head of the physiology department at the Stazione for ten years, and carried out many experiments on the nervous and muscular systems of marine animals. He was also a pioneer of modern behavioural biology and the investigation of how living things connect to their environments. In a groundbreaking experiment he