Taxonomy: Animalia > Mollusca > Cephalopoda > Octopoda >
Octopodidae > Thaumoctopus mimicus
The Mimic Octopus  was discovered in 1998 off the coast of Sulawesi in Indonesia on the bottom of a muddy river mouth.
All octopus species are highly intelligent and change the color and texture of their skin for camouflage to avoid predators. Until the mimic octopus was discovered, however, the remarkable ability to impersonate another animal had never been observed.
Although mimicry is a common survival strategy in nature, the mimic octopus is the first known species to take on the characteristics of multiple species:
-  Sole fish: This flat, poisonous fish is imitated by the mimic octopus by building up speed through jet propulsion as it draws all of its arms together into a leaf-shaped wedge as it undulates in the manner of a swimming flat fish.
-  Lion fish: To mimic the lion fish, the octopus hovers above the ocean floor with its arms spread wide, trailing from its body to take on the appearance of the lion fish’s poisonous fins.
-  Sea snakes: The mimic octopus changes color taking on the yellow and black bands of the toxic sea snake as it waves 2 arms in opposite directions in the motion of two sea snakes.
Scientists believe this creature may also impersonate sand anemones, stingrays, mantis shrimp and even jellyfish.
This animal is so intelligent that it is able to discern which dangerous sea creature to impersonate that will present the greatest threat to its current possible predator. For example, scientists observed that when the octopus was attacked by territorial damselfishes, it mimicked the banded sea snake, a known predator of damselfishes.