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Octopus intelligence

After watching a video about octopus intelligence and how they're basically as smart as small children, right up there with ravens, cetaceans, and apes. Impressive, given that everything on that list except octopi spent millions of years and has thousands of ancestor species with high intelligence, whereas octopi evolved pretty much directly from clams. All those birds and mammals with high intelligence spent millions of years and had thousands upon thousands of ancestor species perfecting big brains, and then the octopus just came along and evolved a powerful brain pretty much straight from what is essentially living snot filter feeding from inside a shell. They essentially evolved both high intelligence and complex eyes from scratch.

And their body is pretty much still little more than fluid, rubbery muscles with blood, a stomach, and multiple brains. They can squeeze their fluid body through an opening as small as a quarter, and the only thing creating that limitation is their beak, the only hard part of their body. Oh yeah, and if they attach themselves to your skin, it can take as much as a thousand pounds of pressure to manually force them off.

Suddenly, the fact that Nizoni Hatathli-Ravenstone has a tree octopus for a familiar means that he'd be a badass at defending her. Octopi are already highly intelligent, and the magic of the familiar bond makes them far smarter than their mundanes counterparts. So... Massively intelligent, can squeeze into tight spaces, can hold onto things with amazing force, detached limbs continue to function for a little while, and is of a species of octopus that had mastered the land... Barry the tree octopus would be a very wily and dangerous familiar. I can see more a scene something like this:

Villain: "How did you get in here? This door is quadruple locked!"

"Oh, my familiar here just squeezed through the crack under the door and unlocked it for me once he got inside."

"Agggh!" (Attacks Nizoni)

(Barry attacks, covering the villain's whole face)

(Muffled screaming)

This was cross-posted from https://fayanora.dreamwidth.org/1420905.html
You can comment either here or there.

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( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
acelightning
Jan. 4th, 2019 04:22 am (UTC)
The huge limitation that keeps octopuses from having taken over the world by now is that they die right after they reproduce. Females starve themselves and wear themselves out guarding their eggs. Malesjust waste away and die, after delivering their sperm packet to a female. In both sexes, there's an "optical organ" that measures time by light intervals. After a certain amount of time has elapsed, the octopus becomes sexually mature, and then reproduces. But the same time signal also shuts down its ability to digest food. (Removal of the optical organ greatly improves an octopus' life span.) So most octupuses don't live more than a couple of years. And octopus parents aren't around to tend or teach their offspring; every baby octopus just grows up by itself. (Although octopuses are capable of teaching one another very complex concepts - but any given octopus has to live long enough to learn something useful, and then has to live long enough to encounter a younger octopus to teach the skill to.)
fayanora
Jan. 5th, 2019 03:30 am (UTC)
That's really sad. :(
acelightning
Jan. 5th, 2019 06:08 am (UTC)
If they didn't die so young, we'd be their pets.
fayanora
Jan. 5th, 2019 06:19 am (UTC)
Probably. :)
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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