Cooke, G. M., Tonkins, B. M., Mather, J. A. 2019. Care and enrichment for captive cephalopods. In: The Welfare of Invertebrate Animals. Carere, C., Mather, J. (eds), 179-208. Springer, Cham.

Cephalopods have become an archetype for invertebrate cognition, sentience and welfare studies. Their convergence with so-called ‘higher’ vertebrates (birds, mammals) in memory, learning, problem-solving, tool use and likely sentience has made biologists completely rethink the nature and commonality of cognition in the animal kingdom. Cephalopods are a model in many areas of biological sciences, often key attractions in public aquaria and kept in private collections, as well as being important for the future of aquaculture. Modern animal welfare practice should demand that, in addition to maintaining good environmental parameters (e.g. water quality), sufficient environmental, cognitive and social stimulation are provided in a design that fully engages an organism’s cognitive, sensory and motor abilities. Cephalopods’ abilities are far-ranging and must be considered when providing captive care, to not only provide adequate welfare and well-being but to also ensure normal development, allowing confidence in results obtained from their use in experimental settings or conservation programmes. Their sensory capability, inter- and intraspecific communication, personalities and life histories require thoughtful and specific environmental design. Here, we outline their cognitive abilities and likely captive conditions and suggest how their abilities can be appropriately stimulated.

Animal Type