How smart are insects?

Discussion in 'Biology & Genetics' started by Xmo1, Apr 29, 2017.

  1. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    Thanks for that link. I had not seen that before. Is it not amazing, seeing new arrivals quickly adapt the same posture, which to them must look like an effective way to catch fish which are normally not threatened by real crabs. The learn very quickly.
    Another interesting point is that cuttlefish eat Hermit crabs. What better disguise than to look like a Hermit crab.
    I am glad you are discovering the amazing tools cuttlefish use, not only as disguise from bigger predators which love to dine on cuttlefish, but also have learned that a good disguise can be used as an effective hunting technique. Their neural network (and their use of it) is truly astounding.

    As one researcher said, it is like watching little aliens successfully inhabiting one of the most hostile environments on earth. They are fascinating creatures.
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2017
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  3. TheFrogger Valued Senior Member

    I imagine it depends on the individual.
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  5. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    Explain please.
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  7. TheFrogger Valued Senior Member

    Individual humans have differing intelligence. It follows the same animals would have differing intelligence. I find emotional/moral intelligence the most fascinating and fund a mental.
  8. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    Did you watch the link Dave supplied?

    and a p.s. to Dave,

    We know that cuttlefish are able blend perfectly into their environment, which might be considered a reflexive action and is just a direct translation of what the cuttlefish observes and reacts instantly to the color and shape of that environment. I think we can all agree on that.

    But in the clip, the first cuttlefish makes no effort to try and blend in with its environment, which it could do very easily. But instead it disguised itself as a Hermit crab, but there were no Hermit crabs in the tank to imitate. Yet it assumed the shape of a Hermit crab and did it so well that the second cuttlefish appearing into view actually was preparing to attack the apparent Hermit crab, which are much easier to catch than fast swimming fish.

    But did you notice that the first cuttlefish momentarily revealed itself as a cuttlefish and then reassumed its disguise as a Hermit crab, whereupon the second cuttlefish immediately also assumed the same disguise and the third appearing cuttlefish also assumed the very same disguise, each shaping their tentacles into the shape of crab legs and imitating the behavior of Hermit crabs, and even walking on the bottom in the manner of Hermit crabs, thus none tried to blend into their environment, but instead assumed the disguise of a Hermit crab which is a non threatening animal to the fish in the tank. In fact fish eat Hermit crabs, which are very small and do not have a very strong exoskeleton, unlike bigger crabs, which are also prey to the cuttlefish, as long as they attack from the rear and avoid losing a tentacle in the strong claws of bigger crabs.

    Considering their were no real Hermit crabs in the tank, how did the first cuttlefish know what a Hermit crabs looks like and how it behaves, without any Hermit crabs to imitate from direct observation. Are we witnessing a disguise from memory? I find that an extraordinary feat.

    In the last part of the clip it clearly showed that this disguise was very effective as we can clearly see a cuttlefish eating a non-suspecting fish which might have seen a Hermit crab as a tasty morsel. After all fish do eat hermit crabs also, as do cuttlefish, but under a different disguise when in the wild.

    Is it any wonder why researchers are constantly amazed by this little creature who has relatively the largest brain to body size of any animal in the world, in order to control their enormously complicated neural network with millions of interconnected and expandable color cells.

    A clip of their bigger cousin the octopus.
  9. exchemist Valued Senior Member

    I think we've funded enough mentals as it is, thanks.
  10. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    might be interpreted as "fundamental", in context of the statement.

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  11. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    Yeah, I posit that this mimicry is a sign of cuttlefish intelligence.
    Not all cuttlefish do it (in fact, it's very rare) which suggests it is picked up on an individual basis, probably copied from elders, as most intelligent creatures do.

    Then again, the color behavior might be learned too, now that I think about it. It would be an interesting experiment to see if cuttlefish that have never been socialized with others that exhibit this behavior do it instinctively. I doubt it. I suspect it's learned.
    Write4U likes this.

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