Sy joins an all-star underwater line-up to talk about intelligent life in the sea

Constant Wonder

The Wonders of Life Underwater. Sy joined an all-star underwater line-up on the radio show and podcast Constant Wonder to talk about intelligent life in the sea. On the show are Craig Foster, the filmmaker who brought us the magical My Octopus Teacher, the marine biologist Helen Scales, author of the fabulous Poseidon’s Steed: The Story of Seahorses, from Myth to Reality, among other books, and Luke Harris, a high school junior at Horace Mann School in New York City who has created Inspired by the Deep, a competition for fellow students. Listen here.

Monet is eating again! Not bad for a baby turtle who was dead two weeks ago! (See below in the January news.) The key was providing tiny bits of food, including chopped dried mealworms (a birthday gift from Jack McWhorter) live mealworms (thanks to Blackfire Farm) and bits of ReptiSticks (green in the video). Sy reports, “I’m so happy!”

BBC radio 4

Eight Arms, Eight Decisions. Octopuses have a complex neural network running throughout their body. They can make different decisions for each arm without having to send messages back up to the central brain. How can this be? Sy discusses octopus consciousness on the BBC radio show, NatureBang in the episode, Octopuses and the Mind-Body Problem. Philosopher Julian Baggini, author of How the World Thinks, joins the discussion. Listen here.

Maria Popova in her blog The Marginalian – formerly called Brain Pickings – choses The Hummingbirds’ Gift as one of her favorite books of the past year. See all her picks here.

sea shells

Sy petted an octopus, caressed a sea slug, and kanoodled with a giant clam; met a sea turtle resurrected from being poisoned, drowned and hooked, and a pelican whose pouch was under repair; and strolled the Ding Darling National Wildlife refuge and “shelled” at Sanibel Island’s famous beach. All thanks to the good folks at the Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum, who invited her to speak on octopus at their 25th anniversary celebration, drawing a crowd of more than 200 people. Thanks also to Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife (CROW) for saving that sea turtle, the pelican, and the 6,973 animal patients they saw last year.