I’ve actually felt this way for a very long time. If I died and got to come back as something else besides a human, my (presumably non-traditional) choice would be to come back as an octopus.
- They are very well adapted to their environment, and do pretty well in some other environments
- They have ample appendages to manipulate their environment
- They have the ability to live in many places and eat a variety of foods, which makes them resilient to hard times.
- They have turbo boost! And [some have] camoflage!
This article I found on Wired’s website talks about new examples of some species of octopus which have shown real tool use! Not just real tool use, but carrying around tools for later use. And that’s the part that distinguishes intelligent tool use from instinctive behavior. I’ve seen documentaries on them solving various physical puzzles, but this is even cooler. They even have a Beatles song about them.