Cephalopods, which includeoctopuses and cuttlefish, have a completely different evolutionary path of development than other animals. They seem to be the most primitive creatures, but they are smart at the level of many mammals. More recently, neuroscientists from the UK in an unusual experiment found that cuttlefish are quite capable of watching films in 3D-format. Now it has become known that these creatures also know how to eat on a strict schedule and remember at what time they can enjoy the most delicious food. But how did scientists find this out?
Results of another study involvingcephalopods were published in the scientific journal Biology Letters. Researchers from the UK and France have long noticed that cuttlefish are able to eat strictly at the same time in the morning and evening. Mostly they eat marine animals that they can swallow. In particular, they are not averse to eating crabs, but shrimps are considered their favorite treat. In the course of scientific work, the researchers decided to find out whether cuttlefish can refuse to eat not very tasty crustaceans, so that there is more room for tasty shrimp in their stomachs.
How smart are cuttlefish?
To find out, the researchers put socalled medicinal cuttlefish (Sepia officinalis) in two aquariums. In the morning, the first group of animals was stably fed with crabs, and in the evening they were treated to delicious shrimps. The second group in the morning ate crabs, and in the evenings they were randomly given either crustaceans or a handful of shrimp. For the purity of the experiment, the choice of the evening menu was determined using a random number generator.
A few days after the start of the experimentscientists noticed strong differences in the behavior of cuttlefish from two different groups. The animals from the first aquarium quickly realized that in the evenings they would be given delicious shrimp and they would eat less crabs in the morning. Researchers concluded that cuttlefish began to consume a limited number of crabs to satisfy their hunger and to leave more room for more desirable shrimp in their bodies.
Do you know why people will never be able to domesticate octopuses?
Cuttlefish from the second aquarium, in turn,realized that there is no stability in their diet. Therefore, they almost equally consumed both crab and shrimp. But in both cases, the animals remained full, although the individuals from the first tank had a slight advantage in accessing stably tasty food.
To make sure that their observations do notany errors occurred, scientists tried to change the cuttlefish in places. As they expected, individuals who ate unstably, quickly got used to the new conditions and began to eat fewer crabs, so that later they could enjoy more delicious food.
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The researchers ultimately concludedthat cuttlefish are so smart creatures that they can plan their eating behavior in advance depending on the surrounding conditions. In principle, this is not particularly surprising, because cephalopods have a rather complex brain structure. Probably not for nothing that some scientists believe that octopuses and similar creatures came to our planet from other planets. Otherwise, how can one explain their unusual evolutionary path and good intelligence?