The Mimic Octopus
Off the coast of Indonesia in the 90s some local fisherman saw a strange creature. Watching it closely they watch it carefully the realized it was actually an octopus. The octopus was found to mimic the shape of other sea creatures when it feels threatened. This shape-shifting creature can expertly imitate the likeness and movement of more than fifteen species including lionfish, a poisonous sea snake, flounder, flatfish, brittle stars, giant crabs, seashells, stingrays, jellyfish, sea anemones, and mantis shrimp. It can do this by contorting its body and tentacles and changing color. Scientists are not sure how the octopus developed these defense techniques and have recorded several other shapes it makes but cannot identify them. All octopuses can change their color and texture; some can even make themselves look like the rocky sea floor. The mimic octopus is the first octopus species known to pose as another animal. It determines which animal to impersonate based on which predator is coming toward it. If it sees a damselfish coming toward it will mimic a banded sea snake a predator of damselfish.
Frogfish are called fish but they have no scales and walk with foot like fins instead of swimming. They have a fishing lure that comes out of their head to attract prey. They can make the lure resemble different animals their prey would like to eat like tubeworms and shrimp. They can hide the rest of their body to keep up the illusion by changing color and texture to blend in. Some resemble coral, some the rocky sea bottom and some even pretend to be a sea urchins.
For part one of Shape Shifting Creatures click here
image source frogfish: diverosa.com
Mimic octopus as lionfish: tumblr.com
Other octopus photos: http://amazing-creature.blogspot.com