Sentience

Their apparent problem-solving ability has led cephalopods to be recognised as intelligent.

Do octopuses dream?

Scientists used to think that only mammals and birds experienced different sleep states. More recent research, however, has revealed some reptiles and cuttlefish -- another cephalopod and relative of the octopus -- show non-REM and REM-like sleep.

A new study has found that the octopus has ‘quiet’ and ‘active sleep’, with different episode duration and periodicity, and experiences active sleep after a long episode of quiet sleep.

Sand Tiger Shark. Evidence of complex social behaviors in sharks and other elasmobranchs is sparse, however we are beginning to understand the importance of studying shark aggregations

Sand tiger sharks have a friendly side

While many sharks are solitary predators, some are known to live in groups and are suspected of engaging in complex social behaviors. Meanwhile others simply aggregate due to similar habitat, food, or mating requirements.

Using a novel tagging procedure, scientists in the United States, have discovered that some shark species like to spend their time mixing and chilling out together.

Observations made in 2006 and 2007 suggests that dolphins and whales may experience complex emotions once believed to be reserved for human beings such as deep grief at the death of a loved one

Do whales and dolphins grieve their dead?

A study by researchers from University of Milano-Bicocca describes observations of adults carrying dead calves and juveniles in 7 toothed cetaceans (odontocetes). The observation was based on 14 events from 3 oceans. The seven species studied were Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins, killer whales, Australian humpback dolphins, sperm whales, Risso’s dolphins, short-finned pilot whales, and spinner dolphins.

Cognition in Sharks

A difficulty in obtaining information about wild animal behaviour is that detailed observations of different individuals is necessary over long periods of time, and this is especially hard to achieve with sharks. But in the shallow lagoons of French Polynesia, such observation was possible without the encumbrance of scuba gear, and without the problem of the shark disappearing into the depths.

Deep Trust In Sharks

Jim Abernethy, owner and operator of Scuba Adventures, was the dive operator who showed all of the others that sharks are peaceful animals who want nothing to do with humans as a food source.

He spends most of his time with wild sharks during dives from his liveaboard ship, The Shear Water, at remote sites in the vicinity of the Bahamas, and is on land for only about 40 days a year.

Does this whale talk?

Excerpts from Current Biology, Volume 22, Issue 20, R860-R861, 23 October 2012

The whale lived among a group of dolphins and socialized with two female white whales. The whale was exposed to speech not only from humans at the surface -- it was present at times when divers used surface-to-diver communication equipment.

A painted comber hides in the seagrass

Fish get emotional too

Now, additional findings lends further credence to the notion that fish do indeed possess emotions and harbour thought processes. It turns out that fish growing up in the wild among predators use their left eye to look at novel objects, while their offspring raised in captivity use the right eye.