For kids who love animals by a kid who loves animals
Did you know there is an octopus called the mimic octopus? Well, if not, listen very close.
The mimic octopus, not surprisingly, mimics other sea creatures. For instance, it will go down a hole and stick a tentacle out of the hole, and it will look like the bottom of a sea snake to other animals. The other animals will then suspect something harmful is in the hole, and they’ll leave the hole alone. The mimic octopus also takes the form of many other sea creatures beside sea snakes, including hermit crabs, lion fish, jellyfish, jawfish, ghost crabs and more.
What allows them to change is their slimy, wet skin that makes them have different colors and patterns. When they want to look like something other than an octopus, their arms and body make the shape, and the skin makes the color or pattern.
The reason they change is that they have lots of predators that want to eat them. But they can be hunters, too. They will change to look like a harmless sea creature, like a flounder, and, when prey gets close, the octopus grabs the prey and eats it. So, it not only uses its power to hide, but to catch, too.
Check out this mimic octopus!
And, as a bonus, here’s something weird about another kind of octopus: Presenting the blanket octopus … sure to make both boys and girls uncomfortable.
When it’s time to mate for these octopuses, the male finds a female blanket octopus. He puts sperm on one of his tentacles and slaps the female. The force of the slap rips off that tentacle. Then the female floats off to lay eggs, and the sperm on the arm fertilizes the eggs. The male, with his life completed, floats off into the sea to die!
And we people thought we had it rough!
Watch a blanket octopus swim (but not mate!)