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Amazing Shapeshifting Mimic Octopus (Videos)

The mimic octopus lives exclusively in nutrient-rich estuarine bays of Indonesia and Malaysia full of potential prey. It uses a jet of water through its funnel to glide over the sand while searching for prey, typically small fish, crabs, and worms. It also is prey to other species. Like other octopuses, the mimic octopus’ soft body is made of nutritious muscle, without spine or armor, and not obviously poisonous, making it desirable prey for large, deep water carnivores, such as barracuda and small sharks. Often unable to escape such predators, its mimicry of different poisonous creatures serves as its best defense. Mimicry also allows it to prey upon animals that would ordinarily flee an octopus; it can imitate a crab as an apparent mate, only to devour its deceived suitor.

This octopus mimics venomous sole, lion fish, sea snakes, sea anemones, and jellyfish. For example, the mimic is able to imitate a sole by pulling its arms in, flattening to a leaf-like shape, and increasing speed using a jet-like propulsion that resembles a sole. When spreading its legs and lingering on the ocean bottom, its arms trail behind to simulate the lion fish’s fins. By raising all of its arms above its head with each arm bent in a curved, zig-zag shape to resemble the lethal tentacles of a fish-eating sea anemone, it deters many fish. It imitates a large jellyfish by swimming to the surface and then slowly sinking with its arms spread evenly around its body. (source)

 

 

Wikipedia/CC BY 2.0

 

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89 comments

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8:39AM PDT on May 25, 2014

thanks for sharing :)

10:32AM PST on Nov 11, 2013

Amazing isn't even close.

5:33PM PDT on Oct 30, 2013

AMAZING IS AN UNDERSTATEMENT.

3:13PM PDT on Oct 16, 2013

WOW!

11:20PM PDT on Sep 27, 2013

Nature is endlessly fascinating. thanks for posting

5:45AM PDT on Sep 26, 2013

Learn from their way of adaptation

8:56PM PDT on Sep 25, 2013

Very camouflaged.

8:14PM PDT on Sep 24, 2013

ty

5:54AM PDT on Sep 24, 2013

These are my favorite videos. I'll watch Mimic Octopi all day long. They just amaze and delight me.

11:20PM PDT on Sep 23, 2013

Cool!!!

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