Daily Smart Fact

Your daily dose of smart. So you don't feel so dumb.

Daily Smart Fact #17: The Mimic Octopus is the first known species to take on the characteristics of multiple species.

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Key Takeaway: The Indonesian Mimic Octopus can imitate up to 15 different species by look and behavior and decides which “predator” to mimic based on the sea animal that confronts it.  Awesome-o!

I stumbled on this awesome video and I’m blown away by this octopus.  I always knew that octopus were known to be very smart.  I remember from a visit to the Monterey Bay Aquarium that an octopus can change colors by its mood and that they’re known to open up jars and walk across rooms to “sneak food.”

Some other cool facts about the Mimic Octopus (courtesy of Marine Bio):

  • The mimic octopus is the first octopus species ever observed to impersonate other animals
  • “This animal is so intelligent that it is able to discern which dangerous sea creature to impersonate that will present the greatest threat to its current possible predator. For example, scientists observed that when the octopus was attacked by territorial damselfishes, it mimicked the banded sea snake, a known predator of damselfishes.”
  • They’re known to mimic: sea snakes, lion fish, sole fish, sting rays, mantis shrimp and even jelly fish.

Written by Bea

June 1, 2011 at 12:14 pm

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