Topics: Octopus, Ocean, Imitation Pages: 3 (1112 words) Published: June 13, 2005
Recently, researchers have discovered the existence of an extremely unique type of octopus. The species, known as the Indo-Malayan octopus, has the ability to alter its shape, form, and color pattern to mimic or imitate other sea creatures in order to avoid predation (2). The discovery of the mimic octopus is noteworthy because no other type of cephalopod is known to have impersonation abilities. The octopus is also not limited to one imitation. Researchers have observed up to eight different formations. The alternations occur depending upon the appetite, surrounding environment, and proximity of predators the octopus encounters (1). In analyzing the formations, behaviors, and predators of the mimic octopus, it is important to isolate the origins of this exclusive, and highly intelligent defense mechanism. Is this means of protection or evolutionary development, one that allows the cephalopod a better means of survival? Or is this the result of observed behaviors where the mimic octopus becomes aware of the relations occurring in the environment, and successfully imitates a species based upon their ability to subsist when dealing with dangerous predators?

The existence of mimic octopi is restricted to the islands of Indonesia, specifically off the coasts off Solawesi, and Bali (3). Surprisingly, the octopi have been viewed during the daylight hours, generally residing near sand tunnels, and holes (1). The octopi enjoy these mounds because they provide a significant source of food, including small worms, fish, and crustaceans. The octopus utilizes its arms to feel for prey, and then captures the food through the use of expanded webs. However, when the animal is attempting to hide itself from possible enemies, the Indo-Malayan octopus can transform itself into a variety of organisms, including fish, sea snakes, and anemones. If the octopus observes a cluster of damselfishes, it will change into a lionfish by swimming above the ocean floor, with arms extended...
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