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Sy Montgomery

The Soul of An Octopus: A Surprising Exploration into the Wonder of Consciousness

Can an octopus have a mind and feelings, much less a soul? In her three years of research for her book, National Book Award finalist Sy Montgomery established such close friendships with giant Pacific octopuses that the animals would rise from their tanks to greet her, and then embrace her with hundreds of powerful, white suckers--all while looking her directly in the eye and turning color, flushed with emotion.  Sy's talk shares details of these extraordinary relationships, as well as surprising scholarly research revealing octopuses' remarkable intellectual abilities as they solve puzzles, communicate through color and shape, and play with people and toys. Pursuing these solitary shape-shifters--creatures with no bones, three hearts, and blue blood--Sy examines the many kinds of possible minds, the mystery of consciousness and the nature of love.

Researching articles, films, and her 21 books for adults and children, nationally bestselling author Sy Montgomery has been chased by an angry silverback gorilla in Rwanda, hunted by a tiger in India, and swum with piranhas, electric eels and pink dolphins in the Amazon. Her work has taken her from the cloud forest of Papua New Guinea to the Altai Mountains of the Gobi. For THE SOUL OF AN OCTOPUS, she not only befriended octopuses at the New England aquarium but also scuba dived and snorkeled with wild octopuses in Mexico and French Polynesia. She lives in Hancock with her husband, the author Howard Mansfield, their border collie Thurber, and their flock of hens.