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The Sucker, the Sucker!

Amia Srinivasan: What’s it like to be an octopus?

6 September 2017
Other Minds: The Octopus and the Evolution of Intelligent Life 
by Peter Godfrey-Smith.
Collins, 255 pp., £20, March 2017, 978 0 00 822627 5
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The Soul of an Octopus: A Surprising Exploration into the Wonder of Consciousness 
by Sy Montgomery.
Simon & Schuster, 272 pp., £8.99, April 2016, 978 1 4711 4675 6
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... size … They are cartilaginous substances, cylindrical, horny and livid … A glutinous mass, endowed with a malignant will, what can be more horrible? Octopuses are indeed glutinous; according to SyMontgomery, author of the splendid Soul of an Octopus, the slime on an octopus’s skin feels like a cross between drool and snot. But the octopus’s will is far from malignant, at least when it ...

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