Nautilus

I Am Not a Monster

Cephalopods loom large in our cultural mythos. Their long, sucking arms, large, unblinking eyes, and the sheer size of species like the giant squid have creeped us out since at least the Middle Ages, when tales warned merchants of the monsters awaiting them in dark seas, ready to munch on entire crews and ships.

But science has gone a long way to dispelling these terrifying accounts, while at the same time fueling wonder at how spectacularly different cephalopods are from us. We now know they are intelligent creatures whose brains are organized in ways vastly different from our own. Some species of octopuses temporarily recode their genes for adaptive

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