nilbud - Jul 04, 2016

"selective evolutionary pressure" or lunch as it's known.

Da Schneib - Jul 04, 2016

One imagines part of the cephalopod brain scanning over focal points (which eyes can do very quickly) to build a color image, just as we scan across retina, possibly superior to our own in terms of color resolution. Living cephalopods' lenses could be measured remotely without disturbing the animal to determine this. This is a fascinating area; I have always wondered just how smart octopi and cuttlefish are, having watched them a number of times both in tanks and in documentaries.

In a tank you can watch various members of a group of cuttlefish rise above the rest and take on conspicuous shading and raise their two outermost tentacles in a gesture no cuttlefish below uses; only one does it at a time, always a large male. They change places every few minutes, and there is a brief period of display involving splaying all the tentacles and "flashing" colors involved. This is social behavior.
[contd]

Da Schneib - Jul 04, 2016

[contd]
Meanwhile, large Eastern Pacific octopi require enrichment activities in order to remain healthy in captivity. Common activities involve brightly colored and richly textured objects that contain food. Also, to ensure an octopus does not escape its tank (which they generally try to do eventually), astroturf is placed around the rim. They apparently find its texture repellent and this prevents them from trying to crawl over it. Imagining the world their senses must reveal to them is very interesting.

Nik_2213 - Jul 05, 2016

Mechanically scanning lens *focus* to get colour vision is so neat !!

Astroturf as an anti-clamber border ? I'd wondered how you'd keep those nimble cephalopods in an open tank...

Steelwolf - Jul 07, 2016

Yes, the entire order seems to be able to 'communicate' by color, to what degree and how fine of order they can describe and what sort of idea they can form is an interesting thought exercise. But the astroturf is a substance that actually allows them no 'solid' suction grip, they just feel it as raspy and slick with no support, so it is effective. They learned at some of the aquariums in the area in keeping their octopi in their tanks.

Many studies have shown that these are the effectively smartest top predators in the Oceans for their niche (whales have their own niche, sharks overlap with cephalapods, to an extent, but are no match for their brains.) and that they seem to be tool using to the extent of using objects to pry and to hide in, and in the case of jars, use them as a portable, see thru shell. Obviously they will have very different things on their minds, survival, mating/breeding, and if female, ensuring survival of brood, but there seems to be rich life in between

DonGateley - Jul 11, 2016

Nature did it wrong on our side of what divided us. Show's ya evolution doesn't seek optimal. These critters must have a virtually continuous color palette. There is no color that could be indistinguishable from nearest neighbors. Their light sensing neurons can be given one and the same task, "respond as strongly and with as little noise as possible when hit by a photon." The simpler the function, the more likely a high sensitivity and high dynamic range optimum will be found.

That explains the size of their brains too. With a couple of orders of magnitude more visual information to enrich it's going to take a few more cells. Not necessarily any room left over for higher cognitive skills but, oh, wow. The possibilities.

Hey, if no one has yet built the camera that works this way, get on it! Gotta wonder what other kind of new information could be going on here and in that stream. Display, anyone?

DonGateley - Jul 11, 2016

And, hey, since I don't know of anyone else that has ever asked for one of those, can I have one of the earliest. I have a mind blowing application.

It's not at all clear to me that with simple DSP type processing the resolution of said camera can be made to not suffer the least. De-convolution and stuff.

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