Cephalopods: Aliens From Earth?

Discussion in 'Biology & Genetics' started by Write4U, Aug 18, 2020.

  1. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    15,056
    Is the reef itself cleaning the water from microscopic edibles? The reef itself is a living organism, no?

    I had a friend with a large saltwater aquarium and a sizable coral reef. I didn't ask if it was a legal set-up...

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!



    ILLEGAL CORAL, ROCK SEIZED FROM AQUARIUM OWNER, OFFICIALS SAY
    https://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/fl-xpm-2004-06-19-0406190158-story.html#
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2020
  2. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement



    to hide all adverts.
  3. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    6,324
    The tropics have little plankton in the water because the temperature stays the same all the time and there are no winter storms to bring the nutrients up from the depths.

    For example in my area (it works this way everywhere) in the winter the nutrients are brought up to the surface through upwelling from winter storms. In the spring when the sun comes out you get the plankton blooms. As the summer progresses you have less and less plankton. You don't get more until the next winter's storms bring more nutrients up so the visibility (for diving) gets a bit better as the season progresses.

    It's best in the fall but then the rains start and the runoff from land reduces the visibility again.

    In the tropics the nutrients stay on the very bottom of the deepest parts of the ocean and therefore the water around the reefs (and everywhere else in the shallows) is virtually sterile.

    The only concentrated pockets of life are on the reefs. If you went diving away from the reefs you would see very little most of the time. That's true to a lesser degree anywhere. In my area you look for artificial reefs (junk) or areas with rocky walls. If you just dive on a area with no rocky structure and no artificial reefs where there's just a silty bottom, you see very little.

    There is the occasional fish going by, there are a few bottom dwellers, many hidden but the water is still full of nutrients. The most life and the best dive sites are where there is a rocky structure in an area with current so invertebrates can just stay attached to the rocks and the current brings all the nutrients to the invertebrate. This is where you have large anemones, cloud sponges, you also have barnacles, more schools of fish, etc.

    You also see the largest Giant Pacific Octopuses in areas like this. Even though they only live about 3 years they are one of the few animals that will continue to get bigger and bigger the more they eat. The average GPO is probably 30 lbs, a large one in an area with currents may be 100 lbs but some have been recorded in the 300 lb range as I recall (not positive about that) but they vary greatly in size.

    I've run into one or two that made me apprehensive (I won't say scared) just due to their size and due to the circumstances that I encountered them. I wouldn't want to get too close to a very large GPO in an overhanging environment where there was structure for them to hold onto with 6 arms and where they could hold onto me with two arms and where there is not direct access up to the surface.

    It's not that they are going to be attacking me but under that circumstance they are strong and if they grab a hose or regulator and I can't just ascend to the surface if would be hard to deal with 6 arms holding on to me with my air compromised.

    In most cases however if you grabbed you (and they are generally trying to get away) you would just come to the surface and you could control them. Their strength would just be if they could grab some structure. People, in the old days , use to have GPO contests to see who could "wrestle" with the largest one and bring it to the surface. If you gets its arms on you, you just calmly and slowly remove each sucker and it's not hard.

    Having said all that, I don't do any of that. That is from reading. I have touched an arm of a large GPO that was in its den and they will stick an arm out to check you out. When they "activate" a large sucker it is startling as to how much power it can have.

    I've seen many but I remember seeing one under a pile of rocks/boulders and it wasn't where I could just offer out a hand for it to touch so I had to stick my arm down into the pile of rocks (this was a mistake)

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

    because it got frightened for a second and latched onto my arm with one of its arms and it had large suckers. This was the first time I had felt how strong they could be. For a second or two I couldn't move my arm. It reduced the suction soon and I could take my arm out. I didn't do this again.

    Usually you would just touch one suction cup with one finger and if it wanted to check out your finger it could, and often did. If not, you just leave it alone.
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2020
    Write4U likes this.
  4. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement



    to hide all adverts.
  5. Michael 345 New year. PRESENT is 70 years old Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    9,709
  6. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement



    to hide all adverts.
  7. Yazata Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    5,407
    I think that octopuses are interesting because they are the closest thing to intelligent space aliens that we will likely find here on Earth.

    Their intelligence is impressive, easily the most intelligent of the invertebrates, probably comparable to many mammals. They are probably the most intelligent animals in the oceans, with the exception of some of the marine mammals I would guess. Octopuses are very clever and anecdotally there are many stories of them figuring out latches, opening containers and stuff.

    Here's a fascinating little blog post about octopus intelligence by a Texas A&M graduate student that drives home just how alien they are. They have very different nervous system anatomy and physiology, they have different sense receptors and process their sense data differently, their motor control is very different, and their neuroplasticity is much greater than ours.

    https://ogaps.tamu.edu/Blog/Blog/April-2019/Octopus-Intelligence

    One can probably say that intelligence isn't a one dimensional vector from less to more. It's perhaps more like a tree with many different kinds of data processing tasks and may possible kinds of intelligence. And octopus intelligence is a very different intelligence. So while an octopus' intelligence might be roughly equivalent to a dog's in some respects, it's very different from a dog's intelligence in others. I personally suspect (but don't know) that octopuses are even smarter than that, perhaps comparable to some of the primates, except that we can't recognize that intelligence at present since we perceive intelligence in other organisms by comparing it against our own intelligence and octopuses are too different to be directly comparable.

    Another thing that makes octopuses alien to humans is that their evolutionary line diverged from ours very early, back in the "Cambrian explosion" period roughly 500-600 million years ago when multicellular animals first appeared and most of the animal phyla known today appeared very suddenly for as-yet unknown reasons. Prior to that there were just single-celled organisms (and perhaps colonies of them, which may or may not be the ancestors of multicellular organisms) and just prior to the Cambrian explosion the very cryptic Ediacaran biota, which might have been something like very early worms and sponge like things, all of it soft bodied (don't leave good fossils) and difficult to interpret. Then Bam!, all the kinds of animals we see today, from molluscs (the octopus group) through annelid and countless other kinds of worms, radially symmetrical echinoderms like starfish (deuterostomes distantly related to us), arthropods (insects, crustaceans and the ubiquitous ancient trilobites), and our own chordate lineage appear suddenly in the now abundant fossil record.

    So the evolutionary lineage leading to octopuses has been evolving separately from the chordate-vertebrate-mammal-primate line that led to humans for almost the entire history of multicellular organisms.

    Those of us who are interested in exobiology and in the possibility of extraterrestrial intelligence find the octopus fascinating since it's an example of evolution arriving at some degree of intelligence by two largely separate paths.
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2020
    Write4U likes this.
  8. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    15,056
    I agree, but imo, if the ability for Agency (decision making) is a indication of native "intelligence", then in a generic sense the sophisticated known behaviors and abilities of octopuses, which are facilitated by nine brains and allows the organism to "shapeshift", which are evolutionary advantageous in both hiding and hunting strategies.
    I see the octopus in it's environment a relatively equal to humans in their environment.
    Ambidextrous, Resourceful, and ...Curious...!

    https://www.nhm.ac.uk/discover/octopuses-keep-surprising-us-here-are-eight-examples-how.html

    If you have watched the Anil Seth Ted Talk, you'll have noticed that the lecture closes with a scene of an octopus dragging a large glass bottle to its "home", cause it was a useful object.

    Octopuses are scavengers, just like humans........

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!


    A Royal Carriage!

    https://www.nhm.ac.uk/discover/octopuses-keep-surprising-us-here-are-eight-examples-how.html
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2020
  9. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    6,324
    How is the octopus, in its environment, relatively equal to humans in their environment?

    A cat is ambidextrous, resourceful and curious.
     
  10. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    15,056
    Both species are extremely vulnerable to predation, except for evolved survival techniques that are uniquely effective in all respects both as camouflage from predators, but also as a hunting strategy.
    note: I used "relatively equal" as compared to size and physical motility.
    And a cat of human size, like a panther will kill a human in short order, except that humans can use strategical avoidance actions, just like the octopus can avoid detection by becoming "part" of the environmental background.

    All complex "motivated" conscious behaviors are based on physical "survival strategies" in both man and octopus.

    AFAIK, eyesight is very much related to mental decision making processes and octopuses have excellent eyesight, which suggests a brain to match.

    .........HUMAN............................OCTOPUS..........................

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!


    In vertebrate eyes, the nerve fibers route before the retina, blocking some light and creating a blind spot where the fibers pass through the retina. In cephalopod eyes, the nerve fibers route behind the retina, and do not block light or disrupt the retina. 1 is the retina and 2 the nerve fibers. 3 is the optic nerve. 4 is the vertebrate blind spot.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cephalopod_eye

    The octopus is a much older species than humans, a testament to its intelligent use of brains, rather than brute force. They just evolved in a different evolutionary and deadly reality (environment) than humans.
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2020
  11. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    15,056

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!



    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!


    Another one of God's creations......

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

     

Share This Page