Animal Einsteins

One of the most popular viral videos circulating on the Internet shows octopuses scurrying across the ocean floor carrying....coconut shells. The biologists who filmed the footage said that it was hard not to laugh at the octopuses' antics (which included blocking the camera lens with their outstretched legs, as if to say, "No paparazzi!"). But behind the humor lies a serious discovery - the shell-toting octopuses are the first invertebrates to be seen using tools. They carry the shells for a reason - to scramble into them and hide whenever they sense a predator approaching.

Of course, this isn't the first time that octopuses have shown off their intellectual prowess. Frida, a 5-month-old octopus at the German zoo, learned how to open a jar of shrimp after watching zoo workers perform the task. Another octopus, Otto, at Germany's Sea Star Aquarium, was apparently irritated by a light that was left on all night and repeatedly shot it out with squirts of water.

Every day, we learn more about the intelligent, sensitive animals who share our planet.

Article from Animal Times Spring 2010

Video of octopus:

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