Tools for the job

How It Works - - ENVIRONMENT -

An­other as­pect of oc­to­pus in­tel­li­gence is the use of tools. Pre­vi­ously only wit­nessed in pri­mates, dol­phins and some birds, oc­to­puses in In­done­sian wa­ters have been wit­nessed car­ry­ing two halves of a co­conut shell as they tra­verse the seafloor. The oc­to­puses used these halves as a whole pro­tec­tive ‘case’, squeez­ing into the co­conut in ar­eas where dens, nooks and cran­nies were hard to find in or­der to es­cape preda­tors. Tool use has long been a bench­mark of an­i­mal in­tel­li­gence, but there is some de­bate among bi­ol­o­gists as to whether this is classed as ‘tool us­age’.

A por­ta­ble co­conut home is a safe and se­cure place in which to hide

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