Krulwich Wonders...
9:52 am
Mon March 26, 2012

Rare Sighting Of Dashing, Two-Legged Hairy Sprinting Crab?

Originally published on Mon March 26, 2012 7:11 am

In Latin it's called Thaumoctopus mimicus, but I'd call it The Master. It's Meryl Streep in octopus form. There are ocean animals that can change shape, imitate plants, rocks, flora, and I've blogged about some of them. But this octopus is special. It seems to study other creatures and then imitate them, copying their moves and their bodies. It can do sea snakes, lion fish, flatfish, giant crabs, seashells, stingrays, jellyfish and weird beings that have no name, and maybe no earthly existence. Is it imagining? I don't know, but no scientist has ever seen a shaggy sprinting bipedal crab — until our octopus decided to be one.

The mimic octopus lives in bays off Indonesia and Malaysia. It was discovered by some fishermen very recently, in 1998. I'm not sure how they recognized it when it can change any time it likes, but here it is, in this video, showing off ...

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