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Author Sy Montgomery On Octopuses And Animal Consciousness


What’s it like to be an octopus? Is it anything like being a human? Is it even possible to know?

In her book, The Soul of an Octopus, Sy Montgomery explores these questions as she delves into the physical and emotional world of this mysterious and deeply misunderstood creature. Octopuses have three hearts, a brain that wraps around its throat, eight appendages, blue blood, and a covering of slime instead of hair. For centuries, they have been portrayed in popular culture as ugly and frightening monsters. Yet, as Ms. Montgomery eloquently writes, octopuses also are highly intelligent, have distinct personalities and are curious and playful – traits they share with many other species, including us.

Sy Montgomery is a prolific author, naturalist, documentary scriptwriter and radio commentator who has traveled to some of the world’s most remote places for her work. The Soul of an Octopus was a finalist for the National Book Award in 2015. It’s now out in paperback.