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The Mimic Octopus

Posted by Josh Rothman  November 2, 2010 01:30 PM

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Via Marginal Revolution comes this amazing video of the mimic octopus, a recently discovered chameleonic octopus which lives near Indonesia and Malaysia:

We've all encountered amazing examples of mimicry before - butterfly mimicry comes to mind - but, as the scientists who discovered the octopus write in their paper, the mimic octopus is unusual in its use of "dynamic mimicry":

[D]ynamic mimicry has the unique advantage that it can be employed facultatively, with the octopus adopting a form best suited to the perceived threat at any given time.

A great example of the weirdness and intelligence of the octopus.

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About brainiac Brainiac is the daily blog of the Globe's Sunday Ideas section, covering news and delights from the worlds of art, science, literature, history, design, and more. You can follow us on Twitter @GlobeIdeas.
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