These MDMA octopuses show how much animals and humans have in common | Peter Godfrey-Smith

These MDMA octopuses show how much animals and humans have in common | Peter Godfrey-Smith

These MDMA octopuses show how much animals and humans have in common | Peter Godfrey-Smith 150 150 icnagency

By: Peter Godfrey-Smith | These MDMA octopuses show how much animals and humans have in common | Peter Godfrey-Smith | Neuroscience | The Guardian

Our species might have diverged 500 million years ago, but octopuses on ecstasy behave just as people do in many ways

The last week has been a notable one for our understanding of animal life, thanks to two very different research papers appearing within a couple of days of each other.

One continued a tradition of surprises from the octopus – and generated headlines around the world. Scientists Eric Edsinger and Gül Dölen gave octopuses the “party drug” MDMA, or ecstasy, and found that on the drug they were more inclined to approach other octopuses, and also interacted less cautiously, initiating more body contact.

Related: The undersea and the ecstasy: MDMA leaves octopuses loved up

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