An octopus can change its color and texture; blend with the sea floor, or appearing as rock. But, there’s one octopus species that have unique ability. Living in the tropical sea of South East Asia, Thaumoctopus mimicus, is the first species of octopus that can impersonate other animals. This Mimic Octopus can mimic more than 15 different species, including lionfish, giant crabs, sea snakes, and stingrays. The octopus mimics the physical likeness and movement and accomplishes this by contorting its body and arms, and changing color.
Scientists observed that the mimic octopus may decide which animal to mimic depending on local predator. For example, when an damselfish came to attack, the octopus will appear as a banded sea snake, a damselfish predator.
This species grows up to 2 feet in length, and in normal condition it has brown and white stripes or spots. Mimic octopuses live in nutrient-rich estuarine bays of Indonesia and Malaysia full of potential prey.