Why and How the Octopus Is So Smart

Maggie Koerth-Baker, BoingBoing's science editor, recently set out to answer a question that has stumped many of us before: Why are octopuses so awesome? She collected her findings for a presentation as part of the University of New Mexico's annual conference on Integrating Nanotechnology with Cell Biology and Neuroscience. A 10-minute "highlights reel" is included below, but visit the site for the full 30-minute version.

Eerybody loves cephalopods -- that class of animals containing octopuses, squid, and cuttlefish. But why? What makes these non-fluffy, non-mammals so appealing?

Last August, I attempted to answer that question in a presentation for a University of New Mexico IGERT symposium. "Those Fabulous Octopus Brains" is a 30-minute speech linking cephalopod neurobiology to cephalopod behavior, and asking what it really means to call a species "intelligent". It'll get you caught up on what we do, and don't, know about cephalopod smarts--and what studying these amazing creatures means for the future of human technology, and our understanding of the human brain.

Read the full story at BoingBoing.