How smart are insects?

Discussion in 'Biology & Genetics' started by Xmo1, Apr 29, 2017.

  1. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    Thanks for that link. I had not seen that before. Is it not amazing, seeing new arrivals quickly adapt the same posture, which to them must look like an effective way to catch fish which are normally not threatened by real crabs. The learn very quickly.
    Another interesting point is that cuttlefish eat Hermit crabs. What better disguise than to look like a Hermit crab.
    I am glad you are discovering the amazing tools cuttlefish use, not only as disguise from bigger predators which love to dine on cuttlefish, but also have learned that a good disguise can be used as an effective hunting technique. Their neural network (and their use of it) is truly astounding.

    As one researcher said, it is like watching little aliens successfully inhabiting one of the most hostile environments on earth. They are fascinating creatures.
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2017
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  3. TheFrogger Banned Valued Senior Member

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    I imagine it depends on the individual.
     
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  5. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    Explain please.
     
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  7. TheFrogger Banned Valued Senior Member

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    Individual humans have differing intelligence. It follows the same animals would have differing intelligence. I find emotional/moral intelligence the most fascinating and fund a mental.
     
  8. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    Did you watch the link Dave supplied?

    and a p.s. to Dave,

    We know that cuttlefish are able blend perfectly into their environment, which might be considered a reflexive action and is just a direct translation of what the cuttlefish observes and reacts instantly to the color and shape of that environment. I think we can all agree on that.

    But in the clip, the first cuttlefish makes no effort to try and blend in with its environment, which it could do very easily. But instead it disguised itself as a Hermit crab, but there were no Hermit crabs in the tank to imitate. Yet it assumed the shape of a Hermit crab and did it so well that the second cuttlefish appearing into view actually was preparing to attack the apparent Hermit crab, which are much easier to catch than fast swimming fish.

    But did you notice that the first cuttlefish momentarily revealed itself as a cuttlefish and then reassumed its disguise as a Hermit crab, whereupon the second cuttlefish immediately also assumed the same disguise and the third appearing cuttlefish also assumed the very same disguise, each shaping their tentacles into the shape of crab legs and imitating the behavior of Hermit crabs, and even walking on the bottom in the manner of Hermit crabs, thus none tried to blend into their environment, but instead assumed the disguise of a Hermit crab which is a non threatening animal to the fish in the tank. In fact fish eat Hermit crabs, which are very small and do not have a very strong exoskeleton, unlike bigger crabs, which are also prey to the cuttlefish, as long as they attack from the rear and avoid losing a tentacle in the strong claws of bigger crabs.

    Considering their were no real Hermit crabs in the tank, how did the first cuttlefish know what a Hermit crabs looks like and how it behaves, without any Hermit crabs to imitate from direct observation. Are we witnessing a disguise from memory? I find that an extraordinary feat.

    In the last part of the clip it clearly showed that this disguise was very effective as we can clearly see a cuttlefish eating a non-suspecting fish which might have seen a Hermit crab as a tasty morsel. After all fish do eat hermit crabs also, as do cuttlefish, but under a different disguise when in the wild.

    Is it any wonder why researchers are constantly amazed by this little creature who has relatively the largest brain to body size of any animal in the world, in order to control their enormously complicated neural network with millions of interconnected and expandable color cells.

    A clip of their bigger cousin the octopus.
    ttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R3jmCEbGa3M
     
  9. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    I think we've funded enough mentals as it is, thanks.
     
  10. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    Perhaps
    might be interpreted as "fundamental", in context of the statement.

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  11. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    Yeah, I posit that this mimicry is a sign of cuttlefish intelligence.
    Not all cuttlefish do it (in fact, it's very rare) which suggests it is picked up on an individual basis, probably copied from elders, as most intelligent creatures do.

    Then again, the color behavior might be learned too, now that I think about it. It would be an interesting experiment to see if cuttlefish that have never been socialized with others that exhibit this behavior do it instinctively. I doubt it. I suspect it's learned.
     
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  12. John the humanoid Registered Member

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    House Flies are smart enough to know the difference between me and my mother! How do I know this? Few summers ago, my mom had a job at a mining camp (2 weeks in, 2 weeks out). One hot summer day there was this forest fire smoke that reached our town, stinky and gave everyone a headache, so I got up out of my room and walked into the living room window to close it because of the stinking smoke. But as I was about to close the window, I noticed the corner of my wall and ceiling was covered with a swarm of house flies! Immediately I knew why they were there - trying to hide from the headache causing smoke. So I backed away and left the window open (just in case the flies want to go back out) and let the flies be, since I dislike killing them because they are too gross and they were not bothering me. Amazingly, they were just huddled there in the corner until the smoke cleared and flew back out the window. Since that stinking day, there have been an unusual amount of flies around my house, quite possibly the same swarm that I welcomed to take refuge in the house. They kept going in the house through the window and the top part of the doorway to cool off, I suppose, or to visit me or something since I seem to be nice to them. But when it was time for my mom to come back home to take a 2 week break, she freaked out when she entered the house because of the swarm of flies everywhere (except my room in which I'm always in, playing video games online), so my mom took the broom and killed some and shooed the rest out as if they were an evil, cursed dirty things that must be avoided. And so the flies did not enter the house while my mom was in town, but still swarming outside our house and the entrance during her two-week break that summer. But when my mom went back to work, the flies seem to notice her absence and start to swarm in the house on a daily basis. And every time mother comes back home, the flies seem to avoid going inside the house as if they know there is a fly killer in the house. Sadly, that swarm is probably dead now, since no swarm ever enters the house or the unusual amount of flies gather outside our house anymore.
     
  13. TheFrogger Banned Valued Senior Member

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    Wow, John the Humanoid. That's amazing!
     
  14. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    I don't think cuttlefish have many social exchanges while growing up. As I understand it, cuttlefish are an old solitary species and their ability for camouflage is probably hardwired and connected to the optical system.

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    Cuttlefish have one of the largest brain-to-body size ratios of all invertebrates. Recent studies indicate cuttlefish are among the most intelligent invertebrates.
    http://justfunfacts.com/interesting-facts-about-cuttlefish/
     
  15. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    "Cuttlefish start to actively mate at around five months of age. Male cuttlefish challenge one another for dominance and the best den during mating season."
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cuttlefish#Range_and_habitat

    "Under some circumstances, cuttlefish can be trained to change color in response to stimuli, thereby indicating their color changing is not completely innate."
     
  16. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    Cuttlefish are a hell of a lot smarter than just changing colors. Small males disguise themselves as females by adopting female colors and hiding one arm to make other males think they are female and no threat to other males. This way they can sneak up on females and get close enough to mate without needing to fight off other males. Cross dressing!

    IOW, the smartest male wins the prize, not the biggest or the strongest.


    OTOH insects are not smart at all, they don't need to be. Their very simplicity makes them resistant to all kinds of external conditions. After one season of spraying insecticide, locusts become immune and the insecticide becomes ineffective.

    This is still an important movie, IMO. It is scary, in view of what's happening today. When there are global disasters, the insect survives. It has for 400 million years, adapting and outliving almost all other organisms through five prior extinction events.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2019
  17. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    Right. So...
    Probably not.
     
  18. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    Humans don't consciously will goose bumps on their skin. They are an auto-neural response to cold. I'm pretty sure, that at least part of the cuttlefish's ability to change colors is via auto-response.
    https://asknature.org/strategy/rapid-color-change-used-for-protection/
     
  19. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    You initially suggested that it's hardwired to their optical system.

    Studies show that they can be trained - which means it's not merely hard-wired - they do have conscious control over it.
     
  20. globali Registered Senior Member

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    At least insects are smart enough to know when they are in danger.
     
  21. RainbowSingularity Valued Senior Member

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  22. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    Oh absolutely, the cuttlefish is able to control his shape and color shifting. In fact the Hawaiian bobtail squid is host to a bacteria which produces bio-luminescence. The squid uses the light of the bacteria to disguise itself from casting a shadow from the moonlight at nights when the squid hunts.

    The squid has a a light sensor on its back and a baffle system at its belly where the bacteria live inside the squid. The squid can control the baffle system to regulate the light to match the moonlight. Aquatic cloaking technology.
     
  23. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    OTOH, insects will sacrifice their lives for the hive, without question or complaint. Which makes them extremely effective in combat.

    I posted a link to the Hellstrom Chronicle earlier and it shows his reason for believing that when all is said and done the insect was the first and will be the last survivor on earth.
    Humans are on the increase because they can manipulate their environment, the insect is on the increase because it can adapt to any change man can make to the environment and procreate at an incredible exponential rate.
    https://animals.howstuffworks.com/animal-facts/insects-on-earth.htm
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2019

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