Shapeshifting Octopus

It’s not totally new, but it is totally amazing. Here is a brief video showing the amazing octopus that can blend in incredibly well with its surroundings.


Oh wow! That IS amazing… never seen that one before.

Oh my. I have seen this kind of behavior from geckos and had heard about this about octopi but golly THAT was freaking amazing.

Thanks for sharing.

Dude that was cool.
I have seen other video of octopi? molding into rays and lion fish. Its almost scary how smart they are.

Octopodes or octopuses innit?

Indonesian mimic octopus. Not quite as amazing as the one in the OP but crazy stuff nonetheless.

So, evolution specialists, how the fuck does something like that evolve? (I’m no IDer, I just can’t get my head round such an ingenious and bizarre specialization.)

I would never visit YouTube without the SDMB, and yet, when I do I stay for a few hours. Thanks to all for culling out the crap.

Thanks for the amazing Youtubes!
The Coconut-carrying octopus is also impressive.

Little by little, just like any other adaptation. Octopi are very smart, have very good vision, and the family generally are pretty adept with camoflage (cuttlefish are a good example).

Very cool, too.

Sorry, I meant the ability to change its shape fundamentally - so much so that it’s presumably developed specialized musculature to do so. I can imagine a trend for slightly lumpier octopuses getting eaten less, but I just can’t work out how things would progress from that to being able to emulate a frond of algae.

i could imagine it if i had eight jelly-like, fully prehensile limbs. a deeply evolved game of hand shadows.

Is that an African, or a European octopus?

has anyone tried giving them a weapon? a 1920s style death ray, a fishing spear or maybe a dagger? are their tentacles capable of thrusting or slicing?

He may think her can hide, but my boys will find him.

But he already sleeps with the fishes.

Are you crazy?! We’d be signing our own death warrants if we did that!

Obligatory xkcd link.

Octopuses, octopi, and octopodes are all correct, in ascending levels of doucheyness. So sayith the amazingly attractive Merriam-Webster chick.

As for ‘how did that evolve,’ it’s not really that hard, because their insane, ninja-esque camo is made up of three components, and each of them has considerable value on its own.

First, thier flatscreen-tv skin. That’s basic (but good) camouflage, and almost everybody in their family can do it to some extent. So can several other creatures.

Second, thier general flexablity and ability to re-texture their skin. That’s another version of camo, and again, not that uncommon. Almost every mammal can do this, in fact. Including yourself, though it’s less impressive without fur.

Third, and this is the tough one, they’re SMART. Smart enough to think, “If I look like THIS, he’ll jump to THAT conclusion!” That’s pretty impressive, (I think only the cleverer mammals and a couple of birds are able to duplicate it) but once you get your brain to this level, it enables you to use your skin and shape to thier best advantage. And then you’ll start selecting even more strongly for adaptable skin and shape.

There’s a built in saftey. The four-year lifespan. It garentees that they die off before they can learn enough to overthrow us. It also prevents them from developing sufficent emotion to raise . . . unpleasant ethical issues. Of course, they can still cause some damage if they escape into normal society, but that’s what the Tentacle Runner agents are for.

Here’s a heavily armed octopus.

He may be a sneak, but there’s no call to bring his sex life into this.

What is that one mimic octopus doing to that other mimic octopus?