By obtaining a sense of its place in the unfolding drama of life, set in an ecological theatre, so we can understand why it has become one of the leading players.
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If you go to the octopus, and if you're not too squeamish, dissect it. You'll find that it has a camera eye which is remarkable similar to our own. And yet we know that the octopus belongs to an invertebrate group called cephalopod mulluses, evolutionarily very distant indeed from the chordates to which we belong.