Atlantic Octopus Mimics Flounders—A First
An octopus in the Caribbean can mimic not only the shape of a flounder, but also the fish's color and swimming style, most likely in an attempt to avoid predators, researchers say.
Over the past decade, several Atlantic longarm octopuses have been captured on video imitating the sand-dwelling peacock flounder, mimicking not only the shape of the flatfish but also its color and swimming style.
Octopus mimics have been reported off the coast of Indonesia since 1998. (See a picture of an Indonesian octopus mimicking a sea star.)
This study marks the first case found in the Atlantic—and the fourth octopus species known to adopt a disguise. (Related: "Newfound Octopus Impersonates Fish, Snakes.")
Normally Atlantic longarm octopuses swim with their arms trailing behind their heads. But the newly released video shows the cephalopods folding