Can an octopus have a mind and feelings, much less a soul? Ask Sy Montgomery. In researching her two newest books, she established such close friendships with giant Pacific octopuses that the animals would rise from their tanks to greet her, and then embrace her with thousands of powerful, white suckers--all while looking her directly in the eye and turning color, flushed with emotion. Illustrated with compelling images, 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 20 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 (for a book on tree kangaroos) to the Altai Mountains of the Gobi (for another on snow leopards.) For her two latest books, THE SOUL OF AN OCTOPUS and THE OCTOPUS SCIENTISTS, she befriended octopuses at the New England aquarium and scuba dived and snorkeled with wild octopuses in Mexico and French Polynesia. She lives in New Hampshire with her husband, the writer Howard Mansfield, their border collie Sally, and their flock of free-range laying hens. This program is co-sponsored by the Hancock Town Library and the Harris Center for Conservation Education. Free and open to all.