Armoured Octopus: One of the most intelligent creatures

Armoured Octopus: One of the most intelligent creatures

One of the most productive regions on Earth is the Ufabet Atlantic coast of southern Africa. It is under the influence of the northwards-flowing Benguela Current, a major ocean current driven by the prevailing southeast trade winds. These winds are vital to marine life here for they generate upwellings.

Armoured Octopus: One of the most intelligent creatures

Armoured Octopus: One of the most intelligent creatures

They blow roughly parallel to the coast but, because of the Coriolis effect, the net movement of water is at right angles to the wind, to the left here in the southern hemisphere, and to the right in the northern hemisphere. It means surface waters on this coast are pushed offshore, to be replaced by cold, nutrient-rich waters that are drawn up from the seabed, 200–300 metres below the surface.

This zone of upwelling, inshore of the main current, fuels the growth of plankton and supports vast kelp forests of mainly sea bamboo that stretch from east of Cape Agulhas at the southern tip of Africa to central Namibia.

It has been estimated that at its peak the Benguela Upwelling System can be up to 65 times more productive than the ยูฟ่าเบท ocean’s global average, so this nutrient-rich environment is thought to sustain exceptionally large populations of marine life.

Scientists have calculated that the biomass here is in the order of 50 kilograms per square metre, compared to 5 kilograms per square metre on the Serengeti. It is among the most prolific primary producers on the planet, rivalling intensely cultivated fields and tropical rainforests. With so much food available, these dense kelp forests are home to a surprising number of different types of sharks and rays, along with a particularly inventive octopus.

The common octopus has a global distribution and is probably the most studied octopus on Earth. It is also considered one of the most intelligent; after all, it has a half-a-billion neurons, about the same as a domestic dog, with more in its highly flexible arms than in its brain, giving it unique sensory powers.