Octopuses Can Be So Terrifyingly Smart Because They Share Human Genes For Intelligence

Octopuses Can Be So Terrifyingly Smart Because They Share Human Genes For Intelligence

Octopuses are smart creatures with sophisticated intelligence, and now scientists have uncovered a clue that may partly explain the remarkable intelligence of cephalopods: its genes have a genetic quirk that’s also seen in humans, according to a new study.

The clues that scientists have discovered are called “jumping genes”, or transposons, and they constitute 45% of the human genome. Jumper genes are short sequences of DNA with the ability to copy and paste or cut and paste to another location in the genome, and they have been linked to the evolution of genomes in several species. Genetic sequencing has recently revealed that two species of octopus – common octopus and bimaculoid octopus — also have transposon-filled genomes, according to a study published May 18 in the journal BMC Biology.

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