Montana Public Radio

What we can learn from the adaptable octopus

Oct 28, 2013

The octopus is a very adaptable creature. It can shrink itself to fit into a discarded beer bottle for temporary shelter; can change color, and squirt a cloud of ink to camouflage its escape from danger.

Marine ecologist Rafe Sagarin

Dr. Rafe Sagarin thinks humans have a lot to learn from the adaptability of the octopus - and from nature in general. Sagarin is an associate scientist and marine ecologist with the Institute of the Environment, and Biosphere 2, at the University of Arizona. He's also the author of two recent books: "Learning from the Octopus"  and "Observation and Ecology: Broadening the Scope of Science to Understand a Complex World."
    Sagarin is in Missoula to give a talk in the President's lecture series at the University of Montana. In this feature interview, he talks with News Director Sally Mauk about his belief that we can apply lessons from nature to address problems like global terrorism, infectious diseases and natural disasters.