Great Barracuda - Sphyraena barracuda

Great Barracuda - Sphyraena barracuda

March 17, 2011

Mimic Octopus

Many fishes mimic other fishes - usually as a form of defense, sometimes as a form of opportunism. For example, juvenile Atlantic tripletail are mottled yellow and black. While lying or swimming on their side, they resemble a fallen mangrove leaf rather than a possible meal. Another example: frogfishes are masters of disguise and may resemble sponges, corals, or seaweeds while waiting for unsuspecting prey.

It's an old ruse that is used by numerous plant and animal families. The Mimic octopus takes this behavior to the extreme. What is so interesting about this is that the octopus doensn't mimic just one form, but many: fishes, sea snakes, anenomes, shrimps! Its boneless body can conform in ways vertebrate bodies cannot. It is equipped with millions of chromatophores, allowing it to change color instantly.

It's easy to undertand HOW the octopus mimics, but harder to grasp how it LEARNED to mimic. Is this behavior instinctual or learned? Trial and error? Luck? To read more Click Here.

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