# Cuttlefish can count to five

The cuttlefish is qualified for cabinet position.

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Count Like a Troll but for cuttlefish?

(somehow I always try to write cattlefish… totally a thing, I just learnt

)

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How many tickles does it take to tickle a cuttlefish?

Ten tickles.

dodges rotten fruit

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There are 4 lights!

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In any Internet discussion on counting, sooner or later someone will bring up Peano, so it might as well be me. Yes, philosophy of number includes the idea of “successor” and set theory of course has the concept that if a 1-1 matching is made between two sets, the set which contains elements not in the other set is larger. So you have mathematics on your side.
How high can humans count? Natively to three. There’s a lot of evidence for this, including the (interesting?) fact that in some languages the name for four is much longer than for 1-3 (e.g. quattuor, tettares, chetire for a few Indo-European languages.) This seems to be a limitation of mammals in general. Mammals went backwards in several ways compared to the birds; birds have 4 colour vision, and they appear to be able to count to 4 or even 5. Humans have learnt how to count beyond 3 by cultural transmission (once counting was invented, the names of numbers beyond 4 got shorter).
So the cuttlefish ability to perceive a difference between 4 and 5 is a big deal; it adds to the bigger picture that it was perhaps mammals that were something of a small brained throwback until the post-65Mya event wore off and they started to radiate to more ecological niches. Or so I like to think.

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Evolution by random natural selection is a bummer. A Creationist would have to conclude, if rational, that God hates octopodes and cuttlefish, and really likes giant tortoises and blue whales. Human beings are only in the middle.

“Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee. Unless thou art a giant tortoise in which case forget about your parents, thou still gettest the several hundred years of life expectancy.”

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It, um… It just wanted to cuddle?

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Cuttlefish Count… Count Cuttlefish… Vampire Squid!!!

Plus, that kid in the video said “larval humans,” heheh.

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So, it would be qualified to serve as US Energy Secretary?

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Cuttlefish for my real friends, and real fish for my cuddle friends!

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this whole episode is actually a lesson about keeping the universal translator in good working condition. they were actually just asking what he wanted for dinner.

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That’s a rough way to ask about dinner… Cardassians are really just a bunch of culinary aficionados, eh? I imagine that the obsidian order is really about coming up with the next great meal.

But seriously, that episode where Picard gets tortured by the Cardassians is excellent, one of the best of the series.

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So is it fair to say this proves your basic cuttlefish is smarter than a Trump supporter?

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I’m no marine biologist, but I suspect that it actually just wanted to cuttle.

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Yes, but if the languages in question are “genetically” related, this similarity is just as easily explained by referring to the common ancestor of the reflexes in each language. In other words, if the Proto Indo-European root for “four” is longer than the root for “three” (and *kʷetwóres is longer than *tréyes), then that’s just one fact. Referring to daughter languages of PIE and showing that their fours are bigger than their threes is just repeating the same initial fact.

And what about Korean? “Three” and “four” are 셋 (set) and 넷 (net), respectively.

I’m not sure this fact/“fact” about the lengths of number words gets us much.

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Something about kids these days and, um… are calling it.

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