If you’re on the lookout for a new animal companion, perhaps you should consider a squid. Before you balk at the notion of a pet squid by your side, consider the results of the first MRI-based mapping of the squid brain and its neural connections in 50 years.
Researchers from Queensland University say that these intelligent cephalopods have incredibly complex brains that are similar to those of dogs.
“This the first time modern technology has been used to explore the brain of this amazing animal, and we proposed 145 new connections and pathways, more than 60 percent of which are linked to the vision and motor systems,” comments Dr. Wen-Sung Chung in a release.
This clearer picture of the squid brain has led the study’s authors to conclude that modern cephalopods, including octopus and cuttlefish besides squids, have deceptively intricate and numerous neural systems that rival that of a dog and far surpass mice or rats.
“For example, some cephalopods have more than 500 million neurons, compared to 200 million for a rat and 20,000 for a normal mollusc,” Dr. Chung explains.