Anti-Caturday: Master of Disguise

Southeast Asian Sea Life by xkcd
Southeast Asian Sea Life by xkcd

If there is a creature ever deserving of the term Master of Disguise it’s the Mimic Octopus. Its name is more than rightful as it adept at making itself look very much like other sea creatures such as starfish, flounder, seasnake and others (more than 15 known to date). It does this to evade predators as much as to hunt. Just like most other octopuses it is highly sought after by the large predators of the deep sea and without armor or poison of its own to protect it it will simply make itself look and act like poisonous animals. To hunt it will simply make itself look and act like an animal the prey won’t run from. So when a mimic octopus is hunting for crabs it will make itself seem like a crab intent on mating and then devour the unhappy suitor.

Unlike other octopuses, the Mimic Octopus uses burrows and holes to hide and to hunt. Their other method of hunting is to burrow down into the sand so that only their eyes and the top (middle?) of their head is visible above the sand. Then they’ll just web their long arms and direct any prey into their suckers.

There’s so much more to say about the Mimic Octopus that maybe I’ll just do another posting about them sometime.

Thaumoctopus mimicus by Steve Childs (via Wikipedia)
Thaumoctopus mimicus by Steve Childs (via Wikipedia)
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