[PDF / Epub] ★ The Soul of an Octopus: A Surprising Exploration Into the Wonder of Consciousness Author Sy Montgomery – Andy-palmer.co.uk

The Soul of an Octopus: A Surprising Exploration Into the Wonder of Consciousness Soul of An Octopus by Sy Montgomery, and narrated by the author, is such a delightful book that warmed my heart and I didn t want it to end I felt so entranced by the love of the sea life, especially these precious octopuses, that I felt I knew them Warning, make sure you have tissue handy for happy times and grieving moments This book was a true blessing I felt so in touch with life, the universe, and my own personal thoughts after listening to this It was a soothing balm for the soul Ofte Soul of An Octopus by Sy Montgomery, and narrated by the author, is such a delightful book that warmed my heart and I didn t want it to end I felt so entranced by the love of the sea life, especially these precious octopuses, that I felt I knew them Warning, make sure you have tissue handy for happy times and grieving moments This book was a true blessing I felt so in touch with life, the universe, and my own personal thoughts after listening to this It was a soothing balm for the soul Often I cringe when I know the author is going to do the narration but her voice is so nice and she told it with her own emotions Touching This book is for anyone who loves animals or those that don t Maybe they will when they finish I had mixed feelings going into it about getting wild octopuses for zoos and Aquariums but I think I understand better now I did learn thatthan one octopus is NOT called octopi Lol I had to read this book today because it was due back on Overdrive, so this is going to be a short review until I get my OWN paperback copy This book made me cry The creatures and the people both had me torn up at times I m a wildlife lover and activist so I try to branch out into different books on creatures I know nothing about I was worried this was going to be another textbook style read and I don t like those This is about a woman the author who gets to study octopuses In Pursuit Of The Wild, Solitary, Predatory Octopus, Popular Naturalist Sy Montgomery Has Practiced True Immersion Journalism From New England Aquarium Tanks To The Reefs Of French Polynesia And The Gulf Of Mexico, She Has Befriended Octopuses With Strikingly Different Personalities Gentle Athena, Assertive Octavia, Curious Kali, And Joyful Karma Each Creature Shows Her Cleverness In Myriad Ways Escaping Enclosures Like An Orangutan Jetting Water To Bounce Balls And Endlessly Tricking Companions With Multiple Sleights Of Hand To Get FoodScientists Have Only Recently Accepted The Intelligence Of Dogs, Birds, And Chimpanzees But Now Are Watching Octopuses Solve Problems And Are Trying To Decipher The Meaning Of The Animal S Color Changing Techniques With Her Joyful Passion For These Intelligent And Fascinating Creatures Library Journal Editors Spring Pick , Montgomery Chronicles The Growing Appreciation Of This Mollusk As She Tells A Unique Love Story By Turns Funny, Entertaining, Touching, And Profound, The Soul Of An Octopus Reveals What Octopuses Can Teach Us About The Meeting Of Two Very Different Minds Click here to watch a video review of this book on my channel, From Beginning to Bookend Although occasionally repetitive, The Soul of an Octopus is a tearful, informative, and memorable love note to octopuses those strange yet wondrous creatures, intelligent and brimming with personality, that captivate and terrify in equal measure Click here to watch a video review of this book on my channel, From Beginning to Bookend Although occasionally repetitive, The Soul of an Octopus is a tearful, informative, and memorable love note to octopuses those strange yet wondrous creatures, intelligent and brimming with personality, that captivate and terrify in equal measure 3.5 Though simply written I found this book to be both informative and delightful I knew nothing about the octopus except for pictures in National Geographic, so this was all new to me So surprising to learn how clever these creatures are, the variations in size, from six inches with 23 inch tentacles to the giants of the sea How they use these tentacles like conveyors belts to feed, how they change colors based on mood, how they can show displeasure How clever they are, escape artists, can 3.5 Though simply written I found this book to be both informative and delightful I knew nothing about the octopus except for pictures in National Geographic, so this was all new to me So surprising to learn how clever these creatures are, the variations in size, from six inches with 23 inch tentacles to the giants of the sea How they use these tentacles like conveyors belts to feed, how they change colors based on mood, how they can show displeasure How clever they are, escape artists, can use misdirection, and so muchThe author comes to personally relate with three different types of this species and grows to care about them all Other sea life are also mentioned as are the people who work with them Such a unique job, not sure it would be but I found the descriptions fascinating Actually I found everything in this book fascinating Such clever creatures, who knew The only surprising thing about this exploration into the wonder of consciousness is that the author so thoroughly convinces us of Octopuses beauty, intelligence and individual personalities yet sees no conflict with keeping them captive, often in cruel conditions Most of the Octopuses intimately investigated in the book were wild caught and are now captive in public aquariums, namely the New England Aquarium in Boston They were not rescued due to an injury nor born in captivity and imprin The only surprising thing about this exploration into the wonder of consciousness is that the author so thoroughly convinces us of Octopuses beauty, intelligence and individual personalities yet sees no conflict with keeping them captive, often in cruel conditions Most of the Octopuses intimately investigated in the book were wild caught and are now captive in public aquariums, namely the New England Aquarium in Boston They were not rescued due to an injury nor born in captivity and imprinted making a return to the wild difficult These were all caught and sold for the purpose of being publicly displayed Montgomery takes an obscene amount of pleasure in her wonderful Wednesday visits to the NEAQ, as if her entertainment was the octopus s purpose The most horrible thing recounted in the book is an octopus that due to space constraints has to live for 8 months in a tiny pickle barrel with no stimuli beyond the humans bothering her She is visibly distressed and tries to escape every time the lid is lifted How was the author and everyone okay with this It was terrible to read Finally, the writing was sappy and self absorbed While I did learn a lot of interesting things about Cephalopod anatomy, biology and behavior, those bits of knowledge only strengthened my distaste for the questionable ethics of the author and the book Shame on the National Book Award judges nominating this book for the non fiction award It was interesting reading other GR reviews about this book Some folks complained it wasn t sciency enough, or that it claims to do things that it doesn t, finally, do I can understand folks frustration with Montgomery s approach For people looking for a hard core science book, maybe this isn t the one Montgomery is essentially telling the story of her journey of studying octopuses, which can t stop at the octopus, because they are part of a larger world I think that s some of the message It was interesting reading other GR reviews about this book Some folks complained it wasn t sciency enough, or that it claims to do things that it doesn t, finally, do I can understand folks frustration with Montgomery s approach For people looking for a hard core science book, maybe this isn t the one Montgomery is essentially telling the story of her journey of studying octopuses, which can t stop at the octopus, because they are part of a larger world I think that s some of the message here One cannot study an octopus in a vacuum though an octopus may be able to occupy one with dazzling dexterity There are a lot of things Montgomery learns and shares in this book while learning about the octopus, and they may seem extraneous, but I don t think they are.Montgomery s first visit with an octopus at an aquarium excites her imagination She learns that octopuses can be dangerous, but also that their curiosity and need for connection are not so unlike our own Of course, the octopus can learn a lot about us by tasting our skin with their tentacles We don t do that Though I think sometimes we can use our senses to determine if someone is a serious coffee drinker or pack a day smoker We just might not draw away from such a person as the octopus does after tasting of the not so delectable flavor Right away, according to the narrative, Montgomery experiences a sense affection and wonder for the octopus, and she tells us all about the octopuses she gets to know in captivity, and also there is a cast of human characters she gets to know while getting to know the octopuses So, this book is about a person learning about octopuses, and a person spending time at an aquarium and getting to know other people who work there Further Montgomery decides to learn to scuba dive because she wants to see octopuses who aren t in captivity This is a book that wanders around a bit, and doesn t stay as zoomed in on science and octopuses per say, but I found it to be gripping and delightful I agree with some reviewers that it is hard to read about animals being captured and kept in captivity It is a practice I also dislike But it would be happening whether or not Montgomery writes this book so I guess I d like to and learn what I can.The question of octopus consciousness doesn t of course get answered in here Montgomery thinks they have souls Maybe even plural, given that each tentacle is a bit of creature of their own I think the concept of the soul is one that tries to separate planetary creatures into those whose lives are worth something and those whose lives are expendable So, I prefer to ask different questions and leave the soul out of most things unless I m feeling poetic But I appreciate that Montgomery looks at her octopus friends as individuals with their own personalities, experiences, desires, etc I don t think making a personal narrative about her emotional and social experiences with octopuses makes it less scientific It just makes itnuanced and rich The book is broken up into parts names after octopuses kept at the aquarium There is Octavia, Kali, Karma I can t remember if there were other sections Book is back at the library We get to see octopuses interact with each other, with people, with their environments We see a mother lay and tend her unfertilized eggs, we see some octopuses die and some get released back into the ocean so that they can enjoy the end of their lives in their home habitat We see octopuses push people away, pull them closer, tease people, lash out, weaken, die, expand and thrive Octopuses change shape, change color, express pleasure and loneliness and longing And we see a community of people becomeattuned to their environments andsensitive to the lives of seemingly incomprehensible others, simply by connecting with the octopus Being read and tasted by the octopus seems to bring people a sense of calm and peace People who spend time with octopuses seem to believe in the intensity of intelligence of other beings, which can be a shock to them, particularly as relates to a creature which has probably not been thought of until recently as having the personality and intelligencealong the lines of mammals than cephalopods Of course, many people still like to believe humans are the only intelligent animal Which is proof in itself that human intelligence can be a truly paradoxical pair of words It makes sense that this book celebrates our relationships with each other, and with the many other intelligent beings in our midst, particularly, the octopus I can only hope a heightened awareness of our interconnectivity might bring us to our senses some day.Here are some quotes.AWARENESS OF THE MOODS OF SEA LIFE I smell fish stress The scent is subtle I cannot smell it at all but the low tide odor Scott detects, he explained at the time, is that of heat shock proteins These are intracellular proteins that were first discovered to be released, in both plants and animals, in response to heat, and are now known to be associated with other stresses as well 73 SLIMEIt might beappealing to describe octopuses as slippery But a banana peel is slippery slime is a very specialized and essential substance, and there s no denying that octopuses have slime in spades Almost everyone who lives in the water does More of the ocean s residents use, deploy, or are made up of slime than I ever expected, marine scientist Ellen Prager observes The undersea world is a seriously slimy place Slime helps sea animals reduce drag while moving through the water, capture and eat food, keep their skin healthy, escape predators, protect their eggs Tube worms like Bill s feather dusters secrete slime to build a leathery tube, like a flower stalk, to protect their bodies and keep them attached to a rock or coral For some fishes Scott sdiscus and cichlids among them slime is the piscine equivalent of mother s milk The babies actually feed off the parents nutritious slime coat, an activity called glancing The brightly colored mandarin fish exudes bad tasting slime to deflect its enemies the deep sea vampire squid, an octopus relative, produces glowing slime to startle predators Bermuda fire worms signal with luminous slime to attract mates like fireflies flashing on a summer night The female fire worms glow to attract the mass the males then flash, after which the two please eggs and sperm in tandem Kali s and Octavia s slime isn t bad, I told Jody Anyway, they re way less slimy than a hagfish A creature of the ocean bottom, a hagfish grows to about 17 inches long, and yet, in mere minutes, it can fill seven buckets with slime so much slime it can slip from almost any predator s grip The hagfish would be in danger of suffocating on its own mucous, except it has learned, like a person with a cold, to blow it out its nose But sometimes it produces too much slime for even a hagfish 75 THEORY OF MIND SOPHISTICATED AWARENESS OF OTHERSFrom building shelters to shooting ink to changing color, the vulnerable octopus must be ready to outwit dozens of species of animals, some of which it pursues, others it must escape How do you plan fro so many possibilities Doing so demands, to some degree, anticipating the actions in other words, imagining the minds of other individualsThe ability to ascribe thoughts to others, thoughts that might differ from out own, is a sophisticated cognitive skill, known as theory of mind Once it was thought to be unique to humans In typical children, theory of mind is believed to emerge around age three or four The classic experiment goes like this A toddler views a video of a girl who leaves a box of candy behind in her room While she s gone, an adult replaces the candy in the box with pencils Now the child comes back to open up her box again The experimenter asks the tot, what does the little girl expect to find in the box The toddler will say pencils Only an older child will understand that the little girl would expect to find candy, even though that s not what s really there Theory of mind is considered an important component of consciousness, because it implies self awareness 83 Of course, there are many other examples The birds of prey with whom falconers hunt look to the falconer, or to her dogs, to flush game African honey badgers follow certain birds known as honey guides to find bees nests Both parties seem to realize that when badgers open up the nests to eat the honey, the birds can then feast on the bee larvae 85 TENTACLESIt s even possible that the octopuses have some shy arms and some bold arms University of Vienna researcher Ruth Byrne reported that her captive octopuses always choose a favorite arm to explore new objects or mazes even though all of their limbs are equally dexterous Her team counted the octopuses using only forty nine different combinations of one, two or three arms for manipulating objects, when, according to her calculations, 448 combinations were actually possible 160 Octopus arms really are like separate creatures, Scott agrees Not only can they grow new arms when needed, there is evidence that, on occasion, an octopus chooses to detach its won arm, even in the absence of a predator.Is this like what happens when Siamese twins fight 161 When I started this I expected a scientific journal watered down for the non scientific reader I did not expect it to be a personal journal with some scientific facts thrown in I was looking forscience,facts then offered I was a bit miffed at the personal moments, her diving lessons, her ear troubles, relationships of companions I wantedinformation on the octopus and it fascinating life Fascinating they are, and there is so muchthat we still are far from understandin When I started this I expected a scientific journal watered down for the non scientific reader I did not expect it to be a personal journal with some scientific facts thrown in I was looking forscience,facts then offered I was a bit miffed at the personal moments, her diving lessons, her ear troubles, relationships of companions I wantedinformation on the octopus and it fascinating life Fascinating they are, and there is so muchthat we still are far from understanding.I did gain a new appreciation for the octopus I was amazed by the interactions between the various beings and humans They are so muchthan taught in school They are complex living creatures with different personalities, moods and fears Understanding their types of communications comes from a lot of time spent interacting with them They have gifts that we do not, which makes it hard for us to relate to them That does not mean that they are brainless, unfeeling beings without conscious thoughts The octopus has amazing abilities, their brain can have as many as 75 lobes compared to the human 4 It can see in panoramic views There is new evidence that they may be able to see with their skin to get the perfect camouflage This is just a small bit of their abilities, they are truly amazing.There is some information on other species in the sea Some fascinating facts and tidbits to wow you with the gifts of the sea.I really enjoyed the book even with the slow journal sections that just didn t interest this reader I did enjoy her focus of the emotional connections she saw I may go find her Pig book and give it a go It s such a beautiful book, such an incredible story I already loved octopuses, but this book deepened and strengthened my love for them, and all cephalopods It s an easy read, and by the time you re finished, you ll be asking yourself questions about consciousness, inter species communication, and maybe even feeling a littleof a bond with the fishes who live in your aquarium I know that I did. I had previously read Journey of the Pink Dolphins AnQuest by this author and had to give it up because it contained very little fact, an awful lot of conjecture and far too much about Sy Montgomery who obviously finds the preoccupations of her spiritual soul farfascinating than I do So this time, wanting to read about octopuses I thought I would listen to the book It was worse This is because the author read it herself and it s purpleness, it s fruitiness was increased by her e I had previously read Journey of the Pink Dolphins AnQuest by this author and had to give it up because it contained very little fact, an awful lot of conjecture and far too much about Sy Montgomery who obviously finds the preoccupations of her spiritual soul farfascinating than I do So this time, wanting to read about octopuses I thought I would listen to the book It was worse This is because the author read it herself and it s purpleness, it s fruitiness was increased by her emphasis on meaningless similes, one after the other Her favourite word is, like as in the egg trails of the octopus are like a wedding veil butbeautiful than any Simile on the next line too, about gossamer cobwebs, diamond air bubbles and golden AFAIR Why write one when two can fill the space After several boring chapters on the author learning to scuba dive along with descriptions of her tutors and friends including their neurological problems how they had come about their nicknames and lots of similes, I finally got to this all in two paragraphs my air rising in silver bubbles like a song of praise nurse sharks peaceful as a prayer the fish wheel in unison like birds in the sky I feel elation cresting into ecstasy Like in a dream the impossible unfolds before me and yet I accept it unquestioningly and, Beneath the water I find myself in an altered state of consciousness with a focus and range and clarity of perception that are dramatically changed Is this what Kali and Octavia her two favourite octopuses feel like all the time The Ocean for me is what LSD is to Timothy Leary That s why I said finally DNF.Not enough science, too much conjecture, I don t really believe that octopuses tease people for a joke and get their own back on people and then float with smirking expressions she has imagined on their imaginary faces Remind me never to read another Sy Montgomery book.2.5 stars rounded down One and a half stars because I did learn something about the individuality of octopuses which I would really like to knowof and an extra star because she is very good friends with the brilliant anthropologist and ethologist Elizabeth Marshall Thomas who is one of my very favourite authors

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