The soul of an octopus : a surprising exploration into the wonder of consciousness

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LocationCall NumberStatusDue Date
Amherst - Nonfiction - Main Floor594.56 MoChecked OutDecember 13, 2023
Bedford - Nonfiction594.56 MontgomeryOn Shelf
Bedford - Nonfiction594.56 MontgomeryOn Shelf
Danforth Library - NEC Main CollectionQL430.3.O2 M66 2015On Shelf
Derry Public Library - Nonfiction - Adult Level594.56 mosChecked OutDecember 9, 2023
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Physical Desc
261 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : color illustrations ; 22 cm


Includes bibliographical references (pages 247-252) and index.
Sy Montgomery explores the emotional and physical world of the octopus' complex, intelligent, and spirited creature: and the connections it makes with humans. Sy Montgomery's 2011 Orion magazine piece, "Deep Intellect"; about her friendship with a sensitive, sweet-natured octopus named Athena and the grief she felt at her death, went viral, indicating the widespread fascination with these mysterious, almost alien-like creatures. Since then Sy has practiced immersion journalism, from New England aquarium tanks to the reefs of French Polynesia and the Gulf of Mexico, pursuing these wild, solitary shape-shifters. Octopuses have varied personalities and intelligence they show in myriad ways: endless trickery to escape enclosures and get food; jetting water to bounce objects like balls; and evading caretakers by using a scoop net as a trampoline and running around the floor on eight arms. But with a beak like a parrot, venom like a snake, and a tongue covered with teeth, how can such a being know anything? And what sort of thoughts could it think? The intelligence of dogs, birds, and chimpanzees was only recently accepted by scientists, who now are establishing the intelligence of the octopus, watching them solve problems and deciphering the meaning of their color-changing camouflage techniques. Montgomery chronicles this growing appreciation of the octopus, but also tells a love story. The Soul of an Octopus reveals what octopuses can teach us about consciousness and the meeting of two very different minds.


APA Citation, 7th Edition (style guide)

Montgomery, S. (2015). The soul of an octopus: a surprising exploration into the wonder of consciousness (First Atria Books hardcover edition.). Atria Books.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation, 17th Edition (style guide)

Montgomery, Sy. 2015. The Soul of an Octopus: A Surprising Exploration Into the Wonder of Consciousness. New York: Atria Books.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities (Notes and Bibliography) Citation, 17th Edition (style guide)

Montgomery, Sy. The Soul of an Octopus: A Surprising Exploration Into the Wonder of Consciousness New York: Atria Books, 2015.

MLA Citation, 9th Edition (style guide)

Montgomery, Sy. The Soul of an Octopus: A Surprising Exploration Into the Wonder of Consciousness First Atria Books hardcover edition., Atria Books, 2015.

Note! Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy. Citation formats are based on standards as of August 2021.

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