Mimic Octopus Facts for Kids

Mimic octopus (Thaumoctopus Mimicus) is a small-sized species of octopus. It can imitate a wide variety of species and it is the only aquatic animal to do so. It mimics venomous animals like zebrafish, coral reef snakes, flatfish and jellies. Mimic octopus can imitate 15 marine species of the tropical waters.

Mimic octopus can change its body appearance and color. However, the natural color of this octopus is pale brown. It camouflages with the surrounding environment. Thus, in order to scare away predators, mimic octopus takes the white color with dark markings or changes itself to brown. There are tiny horns coming out of its eyes.

The total size of a mimic octopus (including arms) is about 60 centimeters in length. The width of its tentacles is not more than a pencil.

It is widely distributed across the tropical waters of the Indo-West Pacific. From west to east, it is found all the way from the Red Sea to the New Caledonia. From north to south, it is present from the Gulf of Thailand to the Great Barrier Reef.

Mimic octopuses do not inhabit reefs. They are found around estuaries and muddy shallow bottoms.

Mimic octopuses are carnivores. The primary diet of mimic octopus consists of crustaceans and small fish. Mimic octopus preys upon small worms, fish and crabs. In order to grab its prey, it takes the shape of a matching mate and puzzles the crab until the octopus devours it.

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