An octopus in the New Zealand aquarium was trained to use a camera to take photographs of visiting tourists. The clever cephalopod learned to press the correct button after only three tries- which, as anyone who has ever asked someone else to take a photo of them knows, is faster than most humans.
The video is well worth watching! Octopuses are remarkably intelligent, which is an evolutionary mystery; these short lived, asocial invertebrates lack most of the characteristics usually present in cognitively advanced species. Yet they are escape artists, learn quickly to open jars and solve puzzles, can learn socially (despite being asocial!), play, use tools, and more.
If you haven't had enough octopus videos for one day, check out this video of an octopus carrying a coconut with it to use as shelter.
Thanks to Paul Manning, Oxford DPhil candidate in zoology, for the great link!
When we first tried to get her to take a photo, it only took three attempts for her to understand the process. That’s faster than a dog. Actually it’s faster than a human in some instances.” Mark Vette, trainer