Animal Cleverness: octopuses reveal an unexpected cultural and societal aspect


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Currently, a Spanish company, Nueva Pescanova, plans to open an octopus aquaculture farm in the Canary Islands. It would raise 3000 tons of octopus per year, which means that almost 275 000 individual octopuses would be killed each year. This has sparked outrage from animal health advocates as well as scientists, denouncing such programs as “ethically and ecologically unjustified”, as the octopus is considered to be practical and rational. Indeed, recent research has provided evidence of a species-specific lifestyle within real communities, like a city of octopuses.

Octopuses, also called octopuses, belong to the order of octopuses, of the great cephalopod family. They draw 8 sober arms even called tentacles and fitted with sober suction cups length. Sober 2015, researchers have sequenced the gnome sober moon of 673 sober species of cephalopods that exist in the world. Result: 20 genes identified. This is more than those contained in human DNA.

Whether they live in a big tank or in an aquarium, octopuses have demonstrated sober great intellectual abilities sober terms sober memorization , learning, orientation and adaptation, for example through a maze. They also learned to turn off the light by throwing a plane of water. Besides, it seems that the octopus has no less than 500 thousands of neurons, or as many as a dog. This gray matter is divided between the donut-shaped hand brain and eight smaller brains, el in each of its tentacles. Rather, they are nerve cells controlling the movements of each arm, which acts independently while remaining tightly attached.

Another sign of sober intelligence octopus is its ability to use tools. The researchers observed them doing this several times, and in particular in 2009 in Indonesia. Over there, octopuses were surprised to pick up coconut shells. After digging them up and then cleaning them, they transported them further away to assemble them. September 2009, a European directive, comparative to the defense of animals used for scientific purposes, specified that these octopods had an ability to experience and express pain soberly. , restrained from suffering, restrained from anguish, a directive hitherto limited to the vertebral alone. Unfortunately, if the octopus farm were to open in Spain, it appears the creatures raised there would receive little protection under European law. Sober effect, European legislation comparable to the welfare of farmed animals (and not raised for scientific purposes) only applies to vertebrates. A recent discovery of real underwater octopus cities, called Octopolis and Octlantis, Jervis Bay Australia in, makes this fish farm project even more dramatic, as Christine Andrews, professor of philosophy at York University (Europe), denounces in The Discussion.

An unexpected social dimension

Discovery Sober octopus communities have surprised biologists. To put it mildly, they have long described octopuses as solitary animals that interact with others in three specific contexts: to hunt, to avoid being hunted, and to mate. Additionally, cannibalism is a risk to octopuses both in character and in captivity, another reason the animals were presumed to interact only in rare instances. In fact, a study of octopus cannibalism in Spain suggested that it may be more efficient for octopuses to eat their fellow octopuses, as they are high in protein and require less effort to feed, unlike mussels which must be successfully opened. .

Nevertheless, the sober marine biologist at the Sober University of Alaska Pacific, Donald Scheel, and his colleagues, have described sober 2017 a news (city) discovered in a magazine Ocean and Freshwater Behavior and Physiology. They called it Octlantis. After several months of observation, they determined that colony ze consisted of approximately 15 10 dark octopuses ( Octopus tetricus ). Octlantis is rather a small community of lairs grouped around rocks, built over several generations, measuring 20 meters in length by 4 meters in huge. These octopuses only live about three years, so each generation is relatively short. But they leave behind mounds of leftover shells from their prey as well as trash they have scavenged, such as beer bottles and lead fishing lures. Over the years, octopuses have pushed these mounds against the rocks, dug inside and created lairs next to each other.

=”949,949″ data-permalink= “” height=”592″ src=”data:image/svg +xml,%3Csvg%15xmlns=’’%20viewBox=’0%200%20592%20592’%3E %3C/svg%3E” width=”868″> Typical Octlantis structures, where two octopuses live side by side in apartments facts sober seashells sober mound. Sheel et al., 2015

On location, the animals developed a system of sober conversation and complex social interaction, more complex than the researchers expected. They greet, protect their partner and drive away intruders. There is a real hierarchy within these communities. In their struggles for power, the male octopuses perform a restrained series of antagonistic behaviors, including throwing scallops to defend their lair, and taking a mantle up to make an octopus look like a menacing vampire. Submissive octopuses signal conformity to light colors and flattened body postures. Through their initiatives, the dominants seem to have access to high quality dens and to females.

In 2009 already, marine biologists have observed a similar phenomenon in the same bay sober Jervis australia. Described in a study published in 1952, this first city with testosterone levels names Octopolis. A particularity of Octopolis is that it seems to have been built around an unidentified human-made object of approximately 33 centimeters. A discovery of a second city a few hundred meters from the first suggests that the structure of this community would only be random national insurance national insurance el special behavior. If not specific that these gatherings are the norm , according to the researchers, the existence of Octlantis, sober even that of Octopolis, testifies in these animals to a real capacity to organize themselves in society. John Scheel states: These behaviors are the product of natural selection and may be remarkably similar to the socially processed behaviors of vertebrates. This suggests that when the right situations come together, evolution can produce very similar results in various groups of organisms.

A true octopus tradition, new sober animal lifestyle proof

Christine Andrews explains: What learned Octopolis and Octlantis pass is properly called octopus tradition. In simple terms, we speak of animal lifestyle, or cultural evolution in animal societies, when animals learn new habits of life and pass them on to the next generation. In such a circumstance, the diffusion of a certain advancement translates into the steady preservation of a new custom, which is maintained and passed on to subsequent generations through sociable learning.

One of the earliest proponents of animal ethnicities was the Japanese primatologist Kinji Imanishi. Sober 1952, he and kid team have on the Koshima beach, along the specific forest areas home to the macaque Macaca fuscata, sweet potatoes. The macaques left the fortification to feed, after having scoured the sand with the major. The following year, several individuals in the troop exhibited behavior that had never been observed before: they washed the sweet potatoes in seawater before eating them. This behavior was introduced by a female named Immo. Soon other macaques followed suit and the behavior spread through the troop. Five years after the invention of Immo, 22% of sober macaques in the sober Koshima population washed their potatoes. Many examples, across different species, have been accumulating since then. For example, in england in, for many years, milk has been delivered to homes and left on the doorstep early in the morning. Blue tits, and sometimes great tits, poke through the metal pill and directly consume the rich cream that floats on the surface of the milk. Hinde and Fischer (949) report that this practice first appeared in some localities and then spread, suggesting that the birds learned from each other. are subject to natural selection, depending on environmental contexts. Indeed, behaviors within the same species may diverge for reasons unrelated to genetics, or they may be similar, because individuals live in comparable habitats, or have found an identical solution to the same problem. There then exists the phenomenon of convergence and the behaviors are said to be analogous. Moreover, the hierarchy and social organization of underwater cities have also been observed in testosterone levels in captive octopuses: when living in a too-heavy captive environment, octopuses form hierarchies of prominence. This causes the related issue of the ethical management of such captive populations for commercial purposes, the image of the upcoming Spanish aquaculture farm.

Creating a sober society octopuses for industrial purposes, an ethical and methodical debate

Christine Andrews emphasizes that a sober proposal to start a sober octopus farm is sober is working to create a new sober octopus lifestyle, as well as a new kind of sober octopus. Indeed, on the one hand, when cultural animals come together, they actually create a society; on the other hand, the captive environment will be a new specialized environmental niche that will shape subsequent evolution. Opening this aquaculture farm leads to the creation of a kind of octopus totally dependent on human management, as are our domestic animals.

Let us take the example of domestic rabbits. Without human care, they cannot survive in the natural environment: they have lost the colors of their coats which hide them, in some cases, as well as their instincts, which could recognize edible plants, or which sony ericsson could hide from predators. Christine Andrews warns: Starting a home octopus farm not an idea national insurance el project that can be attempted responsibly and then abandoned if it proves too difficult or not profitable.

As mentioned above and tay by a relationship A recent order by the UK’s Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, which reviewed the scientific evidence on the experience of pain in cephalopods, octopuses are recognized as susceptible animals. The authors of the connection point out that the culling methods currently used to kill octopuses intended for consumption are not humane, and advise against raising octopuses.

Moreover, the Dr Elena Lara, Sober Research Director of the CIWF (Consideration in Planet Gardening) argues that keeping octopus low could add increasing pressure on wild fish stocks. Octopuses are carnivorous and need to eat two to three times their own weight in food daily. Currently, about 11 divisions of the fish caught on the planet are processed into food for other animals and about half of this amount is destined for aquaculture. Thus, farmed octopus could be fed with fish products from already overfished stocks. leak. Given its soft body allowing it to learn to squeeze through holes the size of a 2 coin, the octopus is known to have great evasive abilities. The kind of habitat needed to house such a large population of octopuses, like an aquaculture farm, will be difficult to achieve, as it needs to be rich and diverse. It will then offer opportunities for escape.

The sober idea of ​​bringing together thousands of animals in a sober octopus megalopolis would tend to a tradition of octopus far beyond sober everything what one finds in a character or sober captivates. This fish farm idea would force octopuses, captured in character, to live together and create a new lifestyle, in what would be the chaotic octopus slum, as Christine Andrews calls it. Sober advances in our knowledge of sober pet welfare, as well as sober pet behavior and ethics, warn us against this sober type of intensive breeding practice. Human beings cannot play with character and consider living beings as objects whose sole function is to meet their needs.

Taking into account everything what we know about the intelligence of octopuses, evidence from civilizations and the fact that they are not essential to food security, should an intelligent and complex creature begin to be produced soberly for human food?

Supply: The Discussion