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Hellbent

Octopus playing too much Commander Keen 4: Secret of the Oracle

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An octupus found on the bottom of the ocean in Indonesia was concluded to have been playing too much Commander Keen Secret of the Oracle. Scientists arose at this conclusion when they saw it trying to mimick the behavior of the critters that hide in shells in the commander keen game. The below video highlights some of the copycat behaviors of the octopus.




The shelled dudes from CK4.

Octopus are invertebrates which are generally known to be not very intelligent. This video is the first documented example of an invertebrate using tools. I guess he was pining for his ancestral days when he used to have a shell. They are distant cousins of snails, having evolved away their hard, attached houses in favor of mobility.

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Actually, cephalopods are well known as being the most intelligent of the invertebrates, with some species displaying learning capabilities equal to some mammals and birds.

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Technician said:

They're rocks, Hellbent. Rocks.


He means this -

Interesting and funny all around I'd say

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Dr. Zin said:

Actually, cephalopods are well known as being the most intelligent of the invertebrates, with some species displaying learning capabilities equal to some mammals and birds.


This is true. They are actually very intelligent, depending on the specific species. I remember seeing a study of some type of octopus that learned how to open screw-cap jars to get whatever it was that the scientists had placed inside. I thought that was interesting. There aren't really any animals outside the primate and ape families that possess that kind of dexterity and problem solving power.

[edit]

Also, here is the article that I presume the video in the OP is related to:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20091215/ap_on_sc/as_australia_coconut_octopus

Actually very interesting indeed!

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Whilst it's interesting that this is apparently the "first use of tools by an invertebrate species" you have to wonder about the intelligence of using an item usually seen on a desert island to hide on the bottom of the sea :P

Yes, I realise things from the land fall into the sea. It's just funny to think of whatever eats octopi swimming along and thinking "Sand, sand, sand, sand, coconut, sand - nope, nothing out of the ordinary here!"

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Super Jamie said:

Whilst it's interesting that this is apparently the "first use of tools by an invertebrate species" you have to wonder about the intelligence of using an item usually seen on a desert island to hide on the bottom of the sea :P

Yes, I realise things from the land fall into the sea. It's just funny to think of whatever eats octopi swimming along and thinking "Sand, sand, sand, sand, coconut, sand - nope, nothing out of the ordinary here!"

lol, but most critters aren't inquisitive of things out of the ordinary. they go sand, sand, sand, sand, not alive, sand, sand, sand, sand, inanimate object, sand, sand, sand, moving fleshy object! yum!! hiding still under a cocounut shell might be very effective. i always find it fascinating to ponder on what intelligence is. How does the octopus know that the shell will be protective? Does it have some kind of ancestral memory from its bygone days when in its evolutionary past it had a shell attached to its body? Is it feeling nostalgic?

Kirby said:

He means this - http://i48.tinypic.com/4txbx3.jpg

Interesting and funny all around I'd say


Yes. Excellent picture! Where did you find it? What are they called?

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Hellbent said:

Yes. Excellent picture! Where did you find it? What are they called?


Actually took that one myself, since I have Keen 4. Booted up a save game and voila! And they're called Mimrocks

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Kirby said:

Actually took that one myself, since I have Keen 4. Booted up a save game and voila! And they're called Mimrocks

Thanks! I actually thought you might have taken it yourself. Good lad. :) I didn't even think to look it up on wiki. I guess I subconsciously figured they wouldn't have info on it. Boy was I ever wrong.... Who wrote that description of the mimrock? Jeez... I don't recall there being such a detailed analysis of its habitat, hunting strategy, anatomy and lifestyle in the game. I'm surprised wiki didn't have the latin genus and species for the critter and its reproductive strategy as well.

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Nomad said:

I thought that was interesting. There aren't really any animals outside the primate and ape families that possess that kind of dexterity and problem solving power.

Squirrels, some birds (woodpecker finch, thrush, parrot, rooks, pigeon...), rats, dolphins, pigs, dogs...

All those and more have seen shown to be capable of learning, tool use, problem solving etc etc (to a greater or lesser extent).

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Octopuses are rather intelligent. I wouldn't be surprised if they evolved into a sentient species in another few million years. They were having problems with an octopus at the Seattle Aquarium that kept escaping its tank and ended up in other ones. They kept putting more and more safeguards on the tank lid and it just kept escaping. Half the time they didn't even know how it did it. The sad thing is that they only live for a few years at most. Imagine what they'd be capable of if they lived for over a decade.

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Danarchy said:

Octopuses are rather intelligent. I wouldn't be surprised if they evolved into a sentient species in another few million years. They were having problems with an octopus at the Seattle Aquarium that kept escaping its tank and ended up in other ones. They kept putting more and more safeguards on the tank lid and it just kept escaping. Half the time they didn't even know how it did it. The sad thing is that they only live for a few years at most. Imagine what they'd be capable of if they lived for over a decade.

Did they get any scientists in on the case to try to get a better understanding of the animal's intelligence? Do you have something you can link to regarding this case?

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IIRC I read it in an article that was posted on Fark in 2003-2004. I can't find the article anymore, but I found many forum posts and articles alluding to it. Apparently, it even came up as a possible urban legend on the Snopes forums. Anyway, this is possibly the most interesting article on the Seattle Aquarium octopi (EDIT: though it delves into a discussion on tentacle rape halfway through). I also found this very interesting video.

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Octopuses are amazingly intelligent creatures. Seriously, even given the fact that their lives are so short, I think the only thing really holding them back is the fact that they're cold-blooded.

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Enjay said:

Squirrels, some birds (woodpecker finch, thrush, parrot, rooks, pigeon...), rats, dolphins, pigs, dogs...

All those and more have seen shown to be capable of learning, tool use, problem solving etc etc (to a greater or lesser extent).


I did add the operator AND to "dexterity AND problem solving" skills. Many non-primates or apes may use tools, but dexterity is overall extremely low among those species, let alone invertebrates. I think dexterity, which is a trait directly related to and essential for manipulating tools, does have a close link to intelligence as a whole.

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Nomad said:

[scissor action]

Also, here is the article that I presume the video in the OP is related to:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20091215/ap_on_sc/as_australia_coconut_octopus

Actually very interesting indeed!


Here's a quote from one of the scientists:

"What makes it different from a mimrock is this octopus collects shells for later use, so when it's transporting it, it's not getting any protection from it," Finn said. "It's that collecting it to use it later that is unusual."

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destx said:

Octopuses are icky.

Also I had no idea there was a Commander Keen 3, let alone 4.


download ye geese! One of the best games ever (after doom of course).

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Planky said:

I don't recall any of the Commander Keen games being released for free...

Before Hellbent is banned and sent to DMCAnamo:
http://www.commander-keen.com/secret-of-the-oracle.php

The 4th episode of the commander keen games is called Secret of the Oracle. It belongs to the second keen serie "Goodbye Galaxy!". This series includes also another keen game, The Armageddon Machine, which is not shareware. Secret of the Oracle is shareware and can be downloaded from the downloads page.

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Nomad said:

I did add the operator AND to "dexterity AND problem solving" skills. Many non-primates or apes may use tools, but dexterity is overall extremely low among those species, let alone invertebrates. I think dexterity, which is a trait directly related to and essential for manipulating tools, does have a close link to intelligence as a whole.

Overall, yes, but squirrels have been shown to be able to learn incredibly complex mazes and to carry out problem solving in order to get some food. Squirrels are pretty dexterous are they not?

Only the first minute of the first one is worth watching





"Dexterity and Problem solving"? Check. ;)

Some birds are also able to demonstrate a reasonable degree of intelligence and tool using and are also quite dexterous at doing so given the limits of their physical form (ie no arms or hands).

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Squirrels and some birds hardly account for the majority in nature. I don't see how this in any way refutes what I've said. Which at any rate it's not like I've made a wholly unsubstantiated claim, and I would imagine the only real reason you're replying in the first place is to argue over the internet over something that doesn't really matter.

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I'm not sure the second video indicates intelligence so much as sheer determination.

The first video: he just got lucky with the opening of the jar. Surely he doesn't know about lefty-loosey? But I'm not denying the intelligence there.

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Nomad said:

Squirrels and some birds hardly account for the majority in nature. I don't see how this in any way refutes what I've said. Which at any rate it's not like I've made a wholly unsubstantiated claim, and I would imagine the only real reason you're replying in the first place is to argue over the internet over something that doesn't really matter.


You really hate being disagreed with don't you? And to be honest, he's probably replying/correcting you due to his knowledge in the field of biology.

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I don't doubt he is involved in biology, but argument from authority is a logical fallacy, even if the authority is the one doing the arguing. Which I appreciate he hasn't done; "I KNOW BETAR THAN U BCUZ IM BILOLGIST"

Still, who does like being disagreed with? That doesn't change that I haven't made a totally unsubstantiated claim. Arguing nuances is annoying.

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Nomad said:

I don't doubt he is involved in biology, but argument from authority is a logical fallacy, even if the authority is the one doing the arguing. Which I appreciate he hasn't done; "I KNOW BETAR THAN U BCUZ IM BILOLGIST"

What's your point? You say he's not doing that but then just talk about doing that instead of replying to what he actually did say.

edit:

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esselfortium said:

What's your point? You say he's not doing that but then just talk about doing that instead of replying to what he actually did say.


Irrelevant

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Nomad said:

Squirrels and some birds hardly account for the majority in nature.

At no point did I claim they did.

Nomad said:

I don't see how this in any way refutes what I've said.

Let's see.

Nomad said:

There aren't really any animals outside the primate and ape families that possess that kind of dexterity and problem solving power.

You said that there aren't really any. All I did was point out that there are - quite a few in fact - and that some of the examples are well known. Moving away from squirrels, it's pretty widely known that dolphins, for example, are intelligent, good learners, problem solvers and dexterous (again, given the limits of their physiology).

Nomad said:

Which at any rate it's not like I've made a wholly unsubstantiated claim, and I would imagine the only real reason you're replying in the first place is to argue over the internet over something that doesn't really matter.

You may imagine that, but you are not correct. As a biologist who spends a great deal of his time refuting misconceptions about nature, I believe it does matter. One of those common misconceptions is the superiority that we ascribe to ourselves and other primates and the false conclusions drawn because of that belief in our superiority. The whole "only we and other primates can do X, Y and Z" is a common, often false, assumption.

In the wider scheme of things, I'd suggest that our sense of superiority over other animals has been the cause of a great many problems and, perhaps, that could be considered important too?


Anyway, I'm not even arguing. Like I said, all I was doing was responding to your point that "there aren't really any animals outside the primate and ape families that possess that kind of dexterity and problem solving power". Clearly there are. No argument. Just a statement of fact.

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