"Masters of Mimicry." With its abilities to change color, shape, and behavior, the mimic octopus has a range of disguises to suit any eventuality. These octopuses can hide themselves almost completely in plain sight by pulling in their long tentacles, changing the shape and texture of their bodies, and using their ability to change color. Although we’ve seen invertebrates change the texture of their skin, the first vertebrate to do so was discovered in Ecuador in 2006.

The mimic octopus' generic name is derived from Greek θαῦμα thaûma, meaning "miracle" or "marvel" and ὀκτώπους, a compound form of ὀκτώ (oktō, "eight") and πούς (pous, "foot"). In their relaxed form, they appear somewhat ungainly and seem to peer out at the world with expressions of complete unconcern. It can not only change its color but also its shape and behavior to imitate more threatening animals. As the perceived threat recedes, the frog can alter its skin to smoothness to allow it to move and swim normally. No sunlight can reach there, and you only have a tiny torch lighting your immediate vicinity. They have no need to fear most predators because they have a simple shape-shifting trick that gets them out of most threats. As soon as one of the fish they feed on strays too close to this seemingly nonthreatening crab, it shoots out two extending tentacles and grabs the fish. The octopus's boneless body is well-suited to changing shape. These animals are experts at camouflage or blending in with their environment. Subscribe Share. [1][5][6] Most documented records are from Indonesia. Current Science. Also called horned-spanworms or filament bearers, these caterpillars have strange shape-shifting abilities that are not yet explained by science. The mimic octopus is a smaller octopus, growing to a total length of about 60 cm (2 ft), including arms, with a diameter approximately that of a pencil at their widest. The mutable rainfrog can rapidly go from a smooth-skinned frog to one with spines. But when the conditions are right, these individuals can join together to form one enormous cell (called a plasmodium) with many nuclei. This species lives on coral reefs and shallow waters in the Indo-Pacific region. All the creatures it impersonates are venomous, so, while disguised, it’s less likely to be approached by a predator. Dec. 17, 2007. The creature achieves this transformation in shape and size thanks to several adaptations. When a black little fish approaches, the octopus also paints a part of his body with black stripes. It uses camouflage to hide from its attackers as well as to surprise its prey.

barsoomherald Published January 20, 2018 3,269 Views $3.39 earned. Its ability to change shape is the reason it was named the "mimic" octopus, which is its main defense besides camouflage. Sept. 1, 2001. "Dynamic mimicry in an Indo-Malayan octopus." Because the Mimic Octopus prefers to live in shallow, murky waters, it is believed that its diet consists almost exclusively of small fish and crustaceans. By pumping liquid into the appendages on their backs, these creatures can double their length.[7]. ”Hey there little fella, cool outfit!”, the octopus seems to say. The filaments of the guts are toxic and can kill the attacker. It tucks its tentacles to the side and flattens its body to resemble a leaf-shaped sole (also known as a flatfish), then glides along the sea floor just as an actual sole would. If the threat is too large to deceive that way, the owl will pull its wings over its chest, tuck in its feathers, and elongate its body in an attempt to shrink into the background. Questions are answered by faculty at Binghamton University. All rights reserved. Hanlon, Roger T.; Conroy, Lou-Anne; and Forsythe, John W. "Mimicry and foraging behaviour of two tropical sand-flat octopus species off North Sulawesi, Indonesia." 1 rumble. The mimic octopus’s ability to mimic other animals is thought to be part of an evolutionary survival strategy. This octopus was spotted at a depth of around 15 to 20 meters and probably belongs to the Octopus Cyanea species, otherwise known as the big blue octopus or day octopus.

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