Average IQ of an Octopus & Comparison with Squids

Are octopuses and squids intelligent? It may surprise you to learn that octopuses possess remarkable intelligence, especially considering that one of their closest living relatives is a humble sea slug. In fact, there is a very interesting argument among scientists that the octopus could be regarded as one of the earliest intelligent beings on our planet.

So, the question is how intelligent are they? In this guide, I will explore the interesting facts related to the octopus’s IQ, and its comparison with other cephalopods, such as squids. Therefore, continue reading this interesting topic to learn more about octopus intelligence.

Octopus IQ

Octopuses, along with their relatives like cuttlefish and squids, stand out as highly intelligent creatures among the many invertebrates found in the ocean. Cephalopods, a class of mollusks, are renowned for their exceptional intelligence, serving as a great example of advanced cognitive evolution within the kingdom.

Moreover, based on research into their behavior, cognitive skills, and physical adaptations, it appears that octopuses possess abilities comparable to, and sometimes exceeding, those of a fifth grader.

Now, we know that octopuses are highly intelligent beings compared to other invertebrates, but the question is how do they use their intelligence? They can solve puzzles, open jars, and childproof containers, untie knots, and are skilled at escaping from aquariums. Now, let me explain in detail what octopuses can do.

Octopus are Capable of Using Tools

Tool usage, which indicates advanced cognitive abilities and learning capacity, is uncommon among animals. It’s typically seen in species like monkeys, apes, dolphins, and certain birds. However, among invertebrates, only octopuses and a few insects have been observed using tools.

An ordinary octopus (Octopus Vulgaris) has around 500 million neurons in its body, more than any other invertebrate. Humans have a lot more – close to 100 billion- but octopuses are similar to many mammals in neuron count. Furthermore, most of the octopus’s neurons are not in the brain, but in its arm.

Each arm can taste, touch, and move independently without needing instructions from the brain. Moreover, octopus performs different tasks like using tools to obtain food rewards and build small dens (octopuses in the wild), and using stones to shield entrances for protection.

They gather various materials including rocks, sheltered shells, and even debris such as broken glass and bottle caps. One of the most remarkable instances of octopuses using tools occurred in 2009 when several veined octopuses (Amphioctopus marginatus) were spotted gathering discarded coconut shells in Indonesia.

Octopus can Recognize People

Octopuses possess large optic lobes, a region of the brain specialized for vision, indicating its significance in their lives. In combination with using their brain to identify how to use tools, they also can recognize individuals beyond their own species, including human faces.

Moreover, Scientific American recounted a story from the University of Otago in New Zealand where a captive octopus seemingly developed a dislike for the staff member. Whenever the individual walked past the tank, the octopus would squirt a jet of water at her.

Octopuses can Disguise Themselves

The most interesting ability of octopuses is to disguise themselves and they are likely the most skilled camouflage artists worldwide. They possess chromatophores, thousands of specialized cells under their skin, enabling them to change color in an instant. Additionally, they possess papillae – small regions of skin that they contract or expand – to swiftly alter the texture of their skin, blending seamlessly with their environment.

Squid vs Octopus Intelligence

Octopuses and squids might seem similar at first glance, but they are quite distinct. While both belong to the Cephalopod family and share some visual similarities, squids and octopuses are fundamentally different. Numerous factors set them apart from their habitats and behavior to their lifespan and intelligence.

Now, the main question is who is more intelligent squid or octopus? The answer to this question mainly depends on the individual species of octopus and squids. Each species has its own set of specialized abilities and behaviors, making direct comparisons challenging.

Octopuses may excel in tasks that we may find impressive due to their complex problem-solving skills and remarkable adaptability. However, squid also possess unique strengths suited to their environment. Squids are excellent communicators, can edit their own brain genes, and adapt quickly.

Are squid as smart as octopus?

There’s a belief that squid might be slightly less intelligent than octopuses and cuttlefish. However, certain squid species exhibit remarkable social behavior and communication skills leading some researchers to suggest that they may be comparable to dogs in terms of intelligence. Ultimately, the concept of intelligence can vary depending on the criteria used for assessment.

Moreover, researchers’ findings vary; some suggest octopuses excel in cognitive ability, while others highlight squids’ specialized abilities. This makes it hard to say which species is more intelligent overall.

In conclusion, octopuses are considered one of the highly intelligent species among the invertebrates. They have the ability to solve puzzles, open jars, and even child-proof containers. Octopuses are also good at untying knots and escaping from aquariums.

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