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Smarter than the Evolution allowed

Laboriously he walks on the bottom of the sea. The voluminous cargo trouble him visibly: an expanded coconut shell, which has been clamped, the octopus is among some of his eight arms. After a while, the animal remains standing, climbs in a half-Shell, and fold the other like a visor. A other sea creatures going to come by now with an appetite for octopus, he would not notice the potential prey.

Numerous Internet clips such as this solidify the reputation of the squid as an outspoken smart-ass. The animal was well aware of his vulnerability, and it has, as it has handles, found the Cup, already with a view to their future use? Such a planned approach requires considerable cognitive skills. The trust many of the researchers of the invertebrate Kopffüssern, which include squid, quite.

The Problem – at least from the point of view of science – is: After all, what is about the Evolution of intelligence, not should squid be nearly as smart as you are, without a doubt. "Why have Cephalopods evolved intelligence?", a Team led by Piero Amodio, from the University of Cambridge in the journal "Trends of Ecology and Evolution asks, therefore,".

part of the "brain cells" is in the arms

out of the question, in what a prodigious extent of this development has taken place. Cephalopods belong, such as mussels and snails to molluscs. However, the eight - or ten-armed squid protrude far out of their relationship, when it comes to mental skills. The animals not only gather shells as a future protection huts, they use their arms to open the shells of prey animals or in the laboratory – even screw caps. Cuttlefish are able to distinguish amounts and are very creative to keep attackers from your body. Depending on the Opposite to fit optically perfectly into the surroundings, and hide the other with light-emitting organs, or generate targeted water whirlpool, throw an attacker out of the swimming lane.

a task in the laboratory, to open such a container, the animals not simply according to the principle of trial and error. Rather, they seem to understand the Problem and to consider a tailor-made tactic. Brings no satisfactory success, give it a try the next time you try on a fundamentally different path. Who is going on in the animal Kingdom, so plan a full, innovative and flexible, can claim with good right to be intelligent.

At first glance, this is not surprising in the case of the Cephalopod because the animals have a sophisticated nervous system. In proportion to their body size, the neurons are similar in number and densely Packed, as in the case of the vertebrates, which are considered to be smart, such as Corvids, elephants, dolphins and primates. That the Kopffüssern some of the anatomical Details very specifically – so a part of the "brain cells" is not in the head, but in the poor – one should not get confused.

"your intelligence is a Paradox."Judith Burkart, University of Zurich

Still, the intelligence of the Cephalopod remains from an evolutionary point of view, a mystery. "Your intelligence is a Paradox," says Judith Burkart of the University of Zurich that investigates the cognitive abilities of primates. Because hardly any point squid correspond to what is considered typical life style of an intelligent living being.

These include: Who is clever, lives slowly. He is a grown-up late in the turn, however, quite old. Ravens, for example, are around 15 years old, the primates and even to 40. About an Orang-Utan spends a child, with nine years in the care of his mother. In addition, intelligent birds, and mammals are characterized in that they enter into close social relationships with their peers. As a third feature of wise birds, and mammals have remarkably large brains in proportion to their body.

it is Likely that all three characteristics are related: It takes a lot of time to develop an extensive and powerful thinking organ. During this maturation of the young is in need of help – and, hence, a functioning social life. Intelligence, in turn, helps with the social rules of the game. It also increases the chances of Survival, which could explain the longevity of clever mammals and birds.

loss of the outer shell 200 million years ago

the theory, however, Cephalopod, one encounters a number of inconsistencies. Squid grow up fast and live for a maximum of two years, some even only a few months. In most species, parents care little about their offspring, and close social relations are the Kopffüssern foreign. Instead of long-term pair bonds, and the beginning of the pairing in the case of some squid species and even death.

so Why these animals are so smart? Amodio and his colleagues suspect that this is linked to an event about 200 million years ago. At that time, squids lost their protective outer shell, the other soft animals such as snails and mussels.

"It shows that there may be different evolutionary paths to intelligence."Judith Burkart, University of Zurich

At once the Cephalopod were a lot more mobile and were able to look into narrow angles food, which you previously not have fit. But the new freedom had its price: greater vulnerability. Since they could not rely on the body's own protective shield, had to develop the Cephalopod other, in this case, mental strategies, to address the risks. Instead of a bowl of the squid invested in a powerful brain.

not, let Prove this scenario, says Burkart, "but It is at least plausible." As the authors of the study, the Zurich-based researcher sees it not only as a possible explanation for the wisdom of the Cephalopod, but a General doctrine: "It shows that there may be different evolutionary paths to intelligence." Anyone who wants to understand how it comes to spiritual excellence in the animal Kingdom, the tell squid just your own story.

(Sunday newspaper)

Created: 06.01.2019, 18:24 PM

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