Newfound Octopus Impersonates Fish, Snakes

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: September 21, 2001   View Article

Scientists have discovered what may be the ideal partner for a game of charades: A long-armed octopus that mimics poisonous creatures of the sea to avoid its predators.

The clever creature is a brown octopus about two feet (60 centimeters) long that slithers along the muddy bottom of shallow, tropical estuaries where rivers spill into the sea. It was discovered so recently that it still doesn’t have a scientific name, but scientists are intrigued by its uncanny ability to impersonate lion fish, soles, and banded sea snakes.

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