From unlocking aquarium tanks to instantly camouflaging, octopuses and squid are famous for engaging in complex behaviours.

And a new study has suggested a bizarre evolutionary path to this neural sophistication.

Researchers believe that the animals can edit their genes to learn new skills, but at the expense of being able to evolve quickly.


The study found that octopus and squid display an extraordinarily high rate of editing in the coding regions of their RNA – the molecule responsible for creating proteins.

More than 60 per cent of RNA transcripts in the squid brain are recoded by editing.

In humans, this is just one per cent.


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