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The Mimic Octopus

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Emma G

on 14 May 2014

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Transcript of The Mimic Octopus

Background photo by t.shigesa The Mimic Octopus on a Food Web General facts on the Mimic Octopus The Mimic Octopus's Habitat Mimic Octopus The mimic octopus was discovered in 1998, off the coast of Indonesia. The mimic octopus can impersonate different animals such as sea snakes, lionfish, and flatfish in order to avoid predators. They are very intelligent, and can even change the color and texture of their skin in order to camouflage better. The mimic octopus is so smart that it can tell which creature is the biggest threat to it's current possible predator. For example, scientists once saw that when a mimic octopus was attacked by damselfishes, it mimicked the banded sea snake, a predator of damselfish. The mimic octopus can be found around Sulawesi and Bali in Indonesia, in muddy estuary bottoms or river mouths. The mimic octopus prefers shallow water, usually not deeper than fifteen meters. Thaumoctopus mimicus The Mimic Octopus's Importance Why is the mimic octopus important? Though mimicry is an important survival strategy, the mimic octopus is the first known species that can take on the appearance of several different species. Before the mimic octopus was discovered, no other octopus had been known to mimic other creatures. The mimic octopus can mimic up to fifteen different species, including the mantis shrimp, giant crab, and stingray. The Mimic Octopus's Prey and Predators The Mimic Octopus uses a jet of water to glide over the sand while searching for prey. It will usually eat small fish, crabs, and worms. The ability to mimic other animals lets it prey on animals that would usually run away from octopus's. But many animals also prey on the mimic octopus, usually deep water carnivores such as barracudas and small sharks. Since these are hard to escape, the mimic octopus's ability to mimic poisonous creatures comes in handy, letting it mimic animals such as the venomous sole. Small Sharks Barracuda Crabs Small Fish Mimic Octopus Squid Insects Algae Dangers to the Mimic Octopus What dangers are there to the mimic octopus? The mimic octopus is quite rare, only dozens have been seen. The fact that many people want to study them or stick them in aquariums will quickly deplete the amount of mimic's that there are. Though it is an amazing animal, this will do nothing but make it so that there are less. In addition to this, the mimic octopus is found around Indonesia, where mining and coastal runoff eliminates many. Future of the Mimic Octopus What does the Mimic Octopus's future hold? There is still much to be known about the Mimic Octopus, and scientists would like to search for more information on it. Scientists would still like to do more research on why the mimic octopus has such bold coloring, and how and why it does what it does. Emma Gordon
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