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.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.