Comment »Posted on Saturday 4 October 2008 at 9:13 am by Jacob Aron
In Biology

I recently heard about Thaumoctopus mimicus, the Indonesian Mimic Octopus, and when I saw what it could do I decided to share this fascinating creature with you.

The Indonesian Mimic Octopus - he's watching you.

The octopus has the ability to mimic many other aquatic creatures, altering its shape, colour and movement to impersonate more than 15 different species, such as flatfish and sea snakes. It does so in order to fool predator into viewing it as greater threat than it actually is – a great survival technique.

It’s even possible that the octopus changes its mimicry depending on it’s attacker – scientists have observed that when threatened by a damselfish the octopus will pretend to be a pair of sea snakes – the most common predator of the damselfish.

You really have to see it to believe it and of course thanks to the wonder of YouTube, you can. Enjoy this footage of the mimic octopus as it impersonates its way across the ocean:

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