Cephalopod intelligence is widely known, but scientists struggle to understand why it evolved. The New York Times' Carl Zimmer reports on one of zoology's most fascinating questions.
About 275 million years ago, the ancestor of today’s cephalopods lost the external shell. It’s not clear why, but it must have been liberating. Now the animals could start exploring places that had been off-limits to their shelled ancestors. Octopuses could slip into rocky crevices, for example, to hunt for prey. On the other hand, losing their shells left cephalopods quite vulnerable to hungry predators. This threat may have driven cephalopods to become masters of disguise and escape. They did so by evolving big brains, the ability to solve new problems, and perhaps look into the future — knowing that coconut or clam shells may come in handy, for example.
Yet intelligence is not the perfect solution for cephalopods, Mr. Amodio suggested. Sooner or later, they get eaten. Natural selection has turned them into a paradox: a short-lived, intelligent animal.
They also like MDMA.
Why Evolution Is True introduced me to a profoundly awesome example of mimicry in nature: Uropyia meticulodina, a moth from eastern Asia that looks like a dead leaf. Real Monstrosities: “It’s not just brown like a dead leaf, it’s brown like a curled up, dead leaf. And it’s not just brown like a curled up, […]
Say hello to Knickers, a 6’4″ 3000-pound steer too big for the slaughterhouse to slaughter. Knickers will get to live out its natural life. The AP reports: The black-and-white Holstein Friesian won social media fame and many proclamations of “Holy Cow!” after photos surfaced of the 194-centimeter (6-foot-4-inch) steer standing head and shoulders above a […]
A suprisingly evenly-matched battle at the Hogle Zoo in Utah. At least one more confrontation is posted to YouTube featuring a young elephant there, named Zuri, who evidently has a geese problem.
Digital or analog, there’s a path of least resistance for any project. Finding that path is what the Agile methodology is all about, which is why proficiency in it is a must for any project management position – and the paycheck that comes with it. And the quickest path to learning Agile? The Agile Project […]
Everybody’s flown a paper airplane. But what if you could fly on a paper airplane? Until we invent shrink-ray technology, the PowerUp X FPV Video Paper Airplane Kit will have to do – but it’s as fun as that sounds and more. The original version of this creative toy added drone tech to the old, […]
Adobe’s design software catalog is essential to any graphics program, as much for their simplicity as their versatility. Anyone can be an effective graphic designer with tools like Illustrator and InDesign – and the right training in their potential. That’s where the Adobe CC A-Z Lifetime Bundle comes in. Whether you’re getting your feet wet […]